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Hopewell city councilman, civil rights icon announces retirement

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HOPEWELL, Va. (WTVR) - A  Hopewell city councilman and civil rights icon is expected to step down from his post, after nearly seven, full terms in the position.

Reverend Curtis Harris released a statement at a council work session Tuesday night, announcing his retirement. The announcement comes just before Wednesday's hearing that would have taken up a petition from one of his political rivals, who requested the court remove Harris from office, for not performing his duties.

The hearing was postponed to await Harris' official retirement, which goes into effect Thursday, March 1.

Harris became Hopewell's first black mayor in 1998 and once served as a human shield for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, during the famous mark from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.