Newsoms mayor resigns

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

by Andrew Lind, Staff Writer and Stephen H. Cowles, Staff Writer

Following an emergency called meeting of the Newsoms Town Council on Thursday, Aug. 20, Mayor Kenneth W. Cooke abruptly resigned. Cooke confirmed his resignation to The Tidewater News, but gave no further details regarding his exit. Vice Mayor Harvey Porter and councilman Joseph Stewart said that no decision will be made on acting mayor until the council’s next meeting on Monday, Sept. 14.

Although it is not clear at this time whether the two incidents are related, earlier in the month, Police Chief Jeff McKenney was apparently relieved of his duties and later reinstated by the Newsoms Town Council. Jack T. Randall, attorney for McKenney, told The Tidewater News that the police chief was “unilaterally terminated,” despite the fact that the mayor had no authority to fire without board approval. The board then reinstated McKenney.