City Manager Dave Hansen resigns

Dave Hansen, Virginia Beach City Manager (Judah Taylor/Southside Daily)
Dave Hansen. (Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — City Manager Dave Hansen has announced his resignation in an email to city employees Wednesday.

“Today, I will be resigning as your City Manager and submitting for retirement,” Hansen wrote.

Hansen also announced his resignation in person during a Department Leadership Meeting where city employees meet about once a month to hear updates.

In the meeting, Hansen said he had met with City Council for about two hours Tuesday night.

“Dave deserves tremendous credit for all he has accomplished during his tenure with the city,” Mayor Bobby Dyer said in a prepared statement. “His focus on building our solid infrastructure to rallying the city to support the incredibly successful Something in the Water, Dave has achieved more in the last three and a half years than many managers accomplish in their entire careers. I want to personally thank him for his service and dedication and wish him a well-earned retirement.”

RELATED STORY: If you ask this organization, City Manager Dave Hansen should be fired ‘swiftly and immediately’

“Dave has done a phenomenal job managing the city and his wealth of knowledge and experience will be missed,” said Vice Mayor Jim Wood.

Hansen has named Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy as acting manager pending Council’s decision on naming an interim Sept 3.

RELATED STORY: VB Councilman John Moss: City Manager Dave Hansen makes more than the governor

Calls for Hansen’s resignation have been mounting and resulted in Dyer scheduling a special closed session Tuesday to discuss evaluations for council appointees including the City Manager, Auditor, and Attorney.

Members of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference called for Hansen’s departure earlier this month, saying his poor leadership helped create the “toxic work environment” that contributed to the shooting.

Hansen worked for the city for 13 years, including more than 3 years as city manager where he oversaw day-to-day operations of the city. He helped lead the city’s response to one of the worst mass shootings in Virginia history three months ago when a city employee killed 12 people at a municipal building.

Family members of some of the victims have been critical of Hansen’s response to the shooting, saying he has not been responsive to their requests for information or treated them well.

“A lot of performance problems led to this day. It’s more than just one event. If he’d consistently communicated and acted in a gracious manner, he’d probably still be city manager,” said Kevin Martingayle, an attorney who represents the husband of one of the shooting victims.

He said his client Jason Nixon, whose wife Kate was killed in the shooting, thinks Hansen’s departure is “very good news.”

Members of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference called for Hansen’s departure earlier this month, saying his poor leadership helped create the “toxic work environment” that contributed to the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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