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Interim City Attorney rules Petersburg City Council can’t fire mayor

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- One week after Petersburg resident filled a city council meeting to demand the ousting of Mayor Howard Myers, Interim City Attorney Mark Flynn ruled against the request Monday night.

During a council meeting Monday, Flynn told council members it did not have the authority through its motion to remove the mayor, so he will retain his position.

Council Members planned to vote Monday on whether to remove Mayor Myers from his position.

Mayor Howard Myers

Mayor Howard Myers

Flynn told city council that it does not have the authority to remove the mayor from office, unless they can prove wrongdoing or misconduct and they didn’t do that.

Some council members argued the mayor needs to go because of the mismanagement at city hall.

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.

Mayor Howard Myers, Interim City Attorney Mark Flynn

Mayor Howard Myers, Interim City Attorney Mark Flynn

Petersburg is also dealing with a $3 million budget shortfall from the year 2015.

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.

Mayor Myers told CBS 6 that he has been unfairly threatened and targeted, and says he is trying to get to the bottom of the city's water bill crisis.