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Petersburg mayor Howard Myers responds to ‘attacks’ against him

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg mayor Howard Myers has issued a statement in response to calls for his resignation.

In a statement, given exclusively to CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil, Myers explained why he thought he was now "under attack."

The attacks against me are increasingly related to my being the only one demanding a full investigation into all the aspects connected to the sweetheart Johnson Control water meter contract and water bill fiasco.

This will become clear when the draft of memo prepared by those hired by Mr. Telfair to protect me from such threats - and protect the fiscal integrity of Petersburg - is released by those in the city who stopped the investigation and have held the document secret in hopes of preventing the truth from being told to the people.

It is the only honest investigation ever done into these matters and when it comes out and those who dug up the facts are interviewed about why they think the investigation was stopped before completed, the people will understand the true reason so many with power in Petersburg are desperate to smear me at any cost.

Sincerely,

Mayor W. Howard Myers

Earlier this week frustrated Petersburg residents packed a city council meeting and demanded Myers' ouster. Myers was sick and not at the meeting.

The call for Myers' job comes amid several crises facing the city, which have led to the departure of two city officials.

Petersburg has been plagued with water billing issues, which were uncovered in a CBS 6 Problem Solvers investigation.

Some people reported not receiving water bills from the city since 2015. Other people received bills that were hundreds of dollars higher than usual, despite no change in their water usage. At the time, the city said the bills were based on estimated usage.

In addition, Petersburg is dealing with a major budget shortfall.

In 2015, the city was $3 million in the red. Petersburg was delayed in paying outstanding debts to the Virginia Retirement System and South Central Waste Water earlier this year, as it granted more time to residents to pay water bills. Virginia State Police and the Auditor of Public Accounts are auditing Petersburg's books.

In March, city officials said they hoped water bills based on true water usage may be distributed in June.

The city's handling of the water bills and financial crises led to the City Council dismissing City Manager William Johnson in March. City Attorney Brian Telfair resigned that month.

This is a developing story.