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Ex-Virginia Beach emergency manager begins with state agency

October 5, 2020 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Beach official who guided the city through a series of events, including the 2019 mass shooting which killed 12 people, began her new role on Monday as chief deputy in the state’s Department of Emergency Management.

Virginia Beach Emergency Manager Erin Sutton is only the second woman to become chief deputy, and also is the first woman to transition into the role from a local government, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported, citing a statement from the department.

Sutton had served as Virginia Beach’s emergency manager since 2014. During her tenure, She was a key figure in leading the city’s response to hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic and the shooting in Virginia Beach in which a city employee opened fire inside a city building. In addition to the deaths, four people were critically wounded.

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Julie Hill, Virginia Beach’s spokesperson, said the city is currently under a hiring freeze and City Manager Patrick Duhaney has not decided who will replace Sutton. In the meantime, Deputy City Manager Steve Cover will take the lead if the city experiences any major events, and Kim Tempesco, a senior emergency planner, will oversee day-to-day operations for the Department of Emergency Management.