Judge to decide whether or not to suspend Norfolk City Treasurer

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk City Treasurer will remain in office for now but that could change.

A judge ruled Wednesday he needs a few days to make a decision on whether or not to suspend Anthony Burfoot from office.

Burfoot has refused to step down, since he was found guilty by a jury of federal charges.

Originally, the hearing was supposed to take place in March but was moved up twice.

Those leading the efforts to get Anthony Burfoot removed or suspended from office were in court Wednesday.

Ron Batliner, who said he’s running for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Norfolk, filed a petition after Burfoot was found guilty on four counts of political corruption and two counts of perjury in December.

The petition states at a minimum, Burfoot should be suspended from his elected position.

Batliner argued in court that the judge has the right to suspend Burfoot under the law and he should remove him.

City Council also passed a resolution asking for Burfoot to step down from office and got behind Batliner's efforts.

Andrew Sacks, Burfoot’s attorney argued Wednesday that the court does not have the authority to remove Burfoot and the suspending the elected official would be a gross injustice.

Sacks said under Virginia law, Burfoot has the right to remain in office until all appeals are exhausted.

If a suspension is ordered, Sacks said he plans to file an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

In another move to get rid of Burfoot, there is also a recall effort led by a group of citizens. A judge in that case ruled that a hearing on the issue will not be presented until after Burfoot is sentenced on April 17.

Thousands of signatures were gathered by the recall group from people in support of Burfoot stepping down.

There is also currently an effort by lawmakers in the state to change the laws when it comes these situations.

Related:

Norfolk City Treasurer says he will not resign after corruption conviction despite City Council request

Norfolk City Attorney files motion to suspend City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot

House passes bill to automatically suspend convicted local elected officials