Former PRHA director files lawsuit

Hal Short (WAVY Photo)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The former executive director of the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority is suing his former employer and its attorney.

In his lawsuit, Hal Short says he was wrongfully terminated when he was fired in August of 2016. That was the first year of a three-year contract. Short had worked for the housing authority since 1972. The lawsuit says he met all reasonable and lawful job-related expectations and was never told why he was fired.

The lawsuit also alleges PRHA’s attorney Verbena Askew defamed him when she discussed his termination with 10 On Your Side and the Virginian-Pilot. Askew told 10 On Your Side and the Pilot there was a criminal investigation underway into the PRHA. In the lawsuit, Short says those allegations were untrue. Askew has since stood by her statement.

Short is asking for millions in damages.

Neither the PRHA nor Askew had a comment on the lawsuit.