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Council accepts Roberts’ resignation, appoints Al Moor interim city manager

City Manager Patrick Roberts will resign effective Oct. 2, and City Council has appointed Al Moor to serve as interim city manager effective the following day.

Following a closed session at Monday’s special meeting that lasted more than two and a half hours, council unanimously accepted Roberts’ resignation “with heavy hearts.”

Moor, who had been serving as interim deputy city manager since July 1 following Scott Mills’ retirement, will make a salary of $190,000. Prior to his appointment as interim deputy city manager, Moor had served as the city’s director of public utilities since 1995.

Through city spokeswoman Diana Klink, council members and Roberts declined to comment.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson, who confirmed Roberts’ intent to resign Friday, said during the meeting she was saddened by his resignation.

“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we have agreed to accept the resignation of Patrick Roberts as of Oct. 2, 2020,” Johnson said. “Patrick’s been a tremendous asset to our city, and we are all so sad to see him go. He leaves our city in a much better place. We wish he and his family the absolute best future ever, and we know that he will be successful wherever he goes. Thank you, Patrick. We appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.”

Roberts has served in a number of roles with the city since 2007. He became the interim city manager in May 2015 before receiving council’s unanimous vote Sept. 16, 2015, to become city manager. Roberts took the oath for the position Oct. 26, 2015.

Last year, Roberts received a two-year contract extension through June 30, 2021, along with a 5% raise from council, putting his salary at $197,108 and he also received a deferred compensation contribution of $16,000, paid annually.

Johnson last year noted that Roberts was a sought-after commodity in the Hampton Roads region.

When asked following his contract renewal whether he had received overtures from other localities, Roberts would only say then that “the most significant overture was the fact that council here expressed an interest in me continuing my employment here. That meant a great deal to me.”

Mills initially hired Roberts in 2007 to be the assistant director of planning and community development before serving as deputy city manager from June 2008 until becoming interim city manager in May 2015.

Prior to his tenure in Suffolk, Roberts worked for the city of Richmond as the senior assistant to the chief administrative officer.

There, he also worked from May 2000 to September 2007 in the departments of public works, community development, city manager’s office, city auditor’s office and managed its Community Assisted Public Safety program. He served on the Richmond Planning Commission, the Port of Richmond Commission and was secretary to the Construction and Development Review Commission.

Roberts is a Portsmouth native who graduated from Churchland High School in 1989 and went to work at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in January 1990, and graduated from Virginia Military Institute before receiving a master’s of public administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.