Eastville gives fired police chief $53K severance check

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BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —-

The town of Eastville paid the man who served as its police chief and town administrator $53,215.39 on April 11 as part of a separation agreement, town documents show.

Rob Stubbs was dismissed by the Eastville Town Council April 10 after 25 months performing the two jobs.

Eastville Mayor Jim Sturgis gave no reason for the dismissal. Stubbs said he could not speak to the issue because of a severance agreement with the town.

Stubbs earned $117,967.50 annually in the dual role for the town, which has a population of 300, according to the 2020 U.S. census.

Sturgis declined to publicly release Stubbs’ severance agreement, which he said is exempt from state disclosure laws.

The town provided a copy of his severance payment check after a Freedom of Information Act request from the Eastern Shore Post.

Other records requests show town police officers collectively have earned tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay since Jan. 1 under Stubbs’ watch.

In a four-month period ending April 3, town police officer David Hall earned $10,495 in overtime pay in addition to his annual salary of $70,720.

During the same period, town police officer Jerry Brady earned $9,270.28 in addition to his annual salary of $59,280.

Three other police officers, Linwood Christian, Anthony Owens, and Davonte Cobb, earned between $3,200 and $3,851 apiece in overtime during the four-month period, on top of their salaries.

Statements for Stubbs’ town-issued credit card since Jan. 1, which were also requested by the Eastern Shore Post, show $385 in monthly EZ Pass toll transponder charges.

Sturgis said one of the town police officers lives in Hampton Roads “and part of his wage is transportation over the bay and back.”

Stubbs’ town credit card statement also included a glimpse at the high cost of maintaining a fleet of police vehicles — $3,116.26 to Preston Ford of Keller for repair to a vehicle air conditioner, $2,521 to Amsoil for motor oil, $1,274 to RK Chevrolet in Virginia Beach for engine cooling system maintenance, and $1,311.95 to Coastal Tire of Exmore for vehicle repair.

Stubbs charged on his town credit card a $3,530.02 payment to Preston Ford for repairs to a vehicle “that goes into limp mode whenever you step on it,” according to the service advisor’s description on the invoice.

In all, Stubbs made 65 charges on his town credit card during an 85-day period ending March 29, including for stays at the Hotel Roanoke and the Hilton Richmond Hotel for training.

In December, a report by WTKR-TV in Norfolk showed the town of Eastville raises millions of dollars annually writing speeding tickets to mostly out-of-state drivers.

The report showed from July 2022 to November 2023, Eastville police officers had almost as many traffic stops as the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk combined.

WTKR quoted Jay Beeber, the director of policy and research for the National Motorist Association, as saying Eastville’s actions are “policing for profit.”

David Eder, a former Eastville town manager, was named interim town manager after Stubbs’ firing. Christian was named interim town police chief.

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