UPDATE: Daleville man who filed lawsuit against Roanoke City Council to block Robert E. Lee monument removal speaks

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UPDATE 1:45 P.M.: The Daleville man who filed the lawsuit against Roanoke city, council members, and the mayor said he is not for the Confederacy, he is just against the removal of the monument without asking the people of Roanoke to vote on it.

Liniel G. Gregory Jr. explained he just wants the people of Roanoke to be able to vote on the matter in a referendum this November, which he wants to be mandated by the court. As a proud veteran, he claims, this could open the door to more monuments being removed.

“They could exercise the same kind of thing that they’re doing right now with the Confederate statue for all of those memorials and statues from World War I, II, Vietnam, Korea.”

Not only is he filing a lawsuit in Roanoke, but also in Richmond as well.

When Gregory saw that city officials were starting the process of potentially removing the monument, he immediately got to work filing paperwork.

“I just think they’ve gone about this in the wrong way, and nobody was speaking, nobody was doing anything on the side that I’m talking about,” he explained. “So, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just go ahead and speak up.'”

“It’s the old saying: Buck City Hall. When you buck city hall, it’s an uphill battle,” he said.

He is representing himself in the lawsuit against the city, and though he’s not a lawyer he has been studying the law since the 70s. Gregory, 82, is a great grandfather, and explained that this case will probably be his lasting legacy.

“Supreme Court Justices served who are that old, and I can still do it. And I think I have something to say and offer.”

If the court does not rule in his favor at the hearing August 13, he said he will not pursue the matter.

“And if I lose there, they won’t hear from me anymore” Gregory claimed.

The biggest thing he said is making sure his plea is heard, “Well it’s on the line for August 13, and I will have asked for permission. I’ve sent a thing into the city to appear and speak as I’m doing with you today.”

ORIGINAL STORY:
ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A lawsuit has been filed in the Roanoke City Circuit Court to block Roanoke city officials from permanently removing the Robert E. Lee monument.

Roanoke’s City Attorney was served Monday, July 20. The document was filed because of city official’s efforts to remove the monument. The monument was found toppled late Wednesday, July 22. Police believe it was intentional.

Liniel Godfrey Gregory, Jr. filed the lawsuit because he says he believes a referendum should have been added on the November ballot that would give voters a chance to voice their opinions, instead of having a public hearing.

On July 6, Roanoke City Council adopted a resolution that would allow it to take remove the monument if the council gave notice and held a public hearing.

According to a statute passed by the General Assembly that went into effect July 1, city officials must notify the public of their intent to remove the monument, which they did on July 13 and July 17. Then officials must wait 30 days, hold a public hearing, and if the effort to remove the monument passes, decide where where it should be moved. That public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 17.

One major concern named in the lawsuit is that the removal of the monument in downtown could open the door to removing monuments from other wars. The hearing regarding the lawsuit is set to be held in Circuit Court on Aug. 13, with Gregory representing himself in court.

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