Portsmouth deputy city manager no longer working for the city after nearly 10 years on the job

A top Portsmouth official who had been with the city for nearly a decade parted ways with the city last week.

City spokesperson Peter Glagola told The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday that Deputy City Manager and Planning Director Robert Baldwin was no longer working for the city as of Friday. The city declined to say whether Baldwin resigned or was terminated.

Attempts to reach Baldwin by phone at a number listed for him have been unsuccessful.

The departure comes less than two weeks after Mimi Terry, the city’s former deputy city manager and chief financial officer, was brought back as the interim city manager following a supermajority vote among City Council members earlier this month to fire Tonya Chapman. Terry previously said she was fired under Chapman.

Mayor Shannon Glover said council members can’t comment on personnel decisions, but added that he is confident in Terry’s handling of the city’s day-to-day operations, citing her experience in city leadership.

“She understands what leadership looks like,” Glover said. “So I trust that she will make the decisions that will move our city in a positive direction.”

Councilman De’Andre Barnes, who didn’t support Terry’s appointment, said it’s just “part of a transition” under new leadership. He added that it’s unfortunate to lose Baldwin’s institutional knowledge, especially since he has helped several city managers transition into their new roles over the last decade.

But Barnes also noted that Chapman received criticism from council members for her hiring and firing of city officials when she was the city manager, citing it as one reason the supermajority voted to terminate her contract with the city last month.

“I don’t personally have a problem with it myself,” Barnes said. “My only issue is that those same city council members who had an issue with Tonya Chapman doing the same thing that they speak up and be straightforward and come out against this, too.”

Baldwin was rehired by the city in September 2013. It’s not clear when he previously worked for the city and in what position, but The Virginian-Pilot reported in 2007 that he had left the city as planning director the year before.

Baldwin was earning an annual salary of $174,978 at the time of his departure last week.

It is not yet known who will replace Baldwin.

Natalie Anderson, 757-732-1133, natalie.anderson@virginiamedia.com