Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Council members asked to sign confidentiality agreement on CAO's resignation
breaking

Council members asked to sign confidentiality agreement on CAO's resignation

  • 0
COVR15A_13441069.JPG

Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall at City Hall on Friday, November 5, 2010.

UPDATE: Members of the Richmond City Council are being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before being briefed on the abrupt departure of Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall, according to several city sources.

City Councilwoman Reva M. Trammell said she hasn't been told anything about the resignation of the city’s top administrator because she refused to sign.

"I told them it's going to be a cold day in hell before I sign anything like that," said Trammell, 8th District. "I think it's a damn shame that everything we do we've got to go sign something to keep the taxpayers of Richmond in the dark."

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced Marshall’s resignation this morning, but few details have emerged about what led up to it.

Several council members said Monday they did not know or could not comment on the reason behind Marshall’s resignation.

The mayor's office did not respond to questions about what council members are being asked to sign.

(This has been a breaking news update.)

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced Monday morning that he has accepted the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall, bringing an end to Marshall's five-year tenure at the helm of the city government’s daily operations.

“Mr. Marshall has served in the position of CAO longer than most would have had an opportunity to do so, as a result of my being elected to a second term,” Jones said in a statement. “We are grateful to have had his service for more than five years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors. The city has benefited in many ways during his tenure.”

Jones named Christopher L. Beschler, currently the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for operations, as interim chief administrative officer. Beschler also filled that role prior to Marshall’s arrival.

“Along with Chris, we have a capable team in place – many of whom have been with me since the beginning – and we are anticipating moving forward without interruption,” Jones said.

The precise circumstances of Marshall's departure are unclear. The mayor's statement gave no information about what prompted Marshall to step down. The City Council was informed of the move on Sunday, but several council members said they did not know the reason for the resignation.

"I look forward to working with the administration on finding a suitable replacement," said Council President Charles R. Samuels, 2nd District.

A call to Marshall's cell phone resulted in a message saying the number was no longer in service.

Marshall recently sparred with the city auditor’s office over a report detailing his attempt to boost the retirement pension for one of his deputies, Sharon Judkins, just as her employment with the city was ending. Marshall said he was attempting to negotiate a friendly departure for Judkins and received flawed information on human resources procedures.

An investigation into the matter by Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring found no criminal wrongdoing, and Marshall’s attorney wrote a letter criticizing the auditor’s report as inaccurate.

Marshall also played a key role in the development and negotiation of the the mayor’s proposal for a new baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. That plan has stalled due to a lack of council support.

Before being hired in Richmond, Marshall worked as the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Austin Revitalization Authority in Texas. He has other management experience in cities such as Houston, Washington and Atlanta, where he helped prepare the city for the 1996 Olympics.

Jones nominated Marshall to the Richmond job in 2009, the first year of his administration. The appointment was unanimously approved by the council, despite some questions over a $96,000-per-year consulting contract he had in Austin while serving as Atlanta's chief operating officer. At the time he was hired, Jones called Marshall "one of the best and the brightest to fill out our administration's organization."

Marshall’s departure means the mayor will have to fill a key role in his administration with about two and a half years remaining in his second term. The chief administrative officer reports to the mayor, but is also responsible for providing information to the council on the government’s finances and activities.

Beschler served in the top role on a temporary basis after former chief administrative officer Sheila Hill-Christian resigned in 2008 about five months before the end of former mayor L. Douglas Wilder’s administration.

Councilwoman Kathy C. Graziano, who was council president at the time of Marshall's hire, called his departure a "loss for the city."

"Byron has played an important role in us moving forward and we're going to miss him," said Graziano, 4th District.

She said she could not offer details on the reason for his departure because she has not spoken to him. Graziano said she'd like the city move "as quickly as possible" on a permanent replacement.

"It is the most important position that we have in the city," she said.

 (This has been a breaking news update. Earlier updates are posted below.)


RICHMOND -- Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall has resigned his position, Mayor Dwight C. Jones said this morning.

"Mr. Marshall has served in the position of CAO longer than most would have had an opportunity to do so, as a result of my being elected to a second term,” Jones said in a statement. “We are grateful to have had his service for more than five years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors. The city has benefited in many ways during his tenure.”

Jones named Christopher L. Beschler, currently the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for operations, as acting chief administrative officer. Beschler also filled that role before Marshall was hired.

“Along with Chris, we have a capable team in place – many of whom have been with me since the beginning – and we are anticipating moving forward without interruption,” Jones said.

(This has been a breaking news update. This morning's story from the Richmond Times-Dispatch is posted below.)


 RICHMOND -- Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall has resigned his position, multiple sources at City Hall confirmed late Sunday night, bringing an end to his five-year tenure at the helm of the city government’s daily operations.

Marshall resigned Friday, the sources said. The administration of Mayor Dwight C. Jones plans to make a formal announcement Monday morning.

The City Council was informed Sunday evening, but the precise circumstances of Marshall’s departure are unclear.

Marshall recently sparred with the city auditor’s office over a report detailing Marshall's attempt to boost the retirement pension for one of his deputies, Sharon Judkins, just as her employment with the city was ending. Marshall said he was attempting to negotiate a friendly departure for Judkins and received flawed information on human resources procedures.

An investigation into the matter by Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring found no criminal wrongdoing, and Marshall’s attorney penned a letter criticizing the auditor’s report as inaccurate.

Marshall also played a key role in the development and negotiation of the the mayor’s proposal for a new baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. That plan has stalled due to a lack of council support.

Prior to being hired in Richmond, Marshall worked as the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Austin Revitalization Authority in Texas. He has other management experience in cities such as Houston, Washington and Atlanta, where he helped prepare the city for the 1996 Olympics.

Jones nominated Marshall to the Richmond job in 2009, the first year of his mayorship. His appointment was unanimously approved by the council.

Marshall’s departure means the mayor will have to fill a key role in his administration with about two and a half years remaining in his second term. The chief administrative officer reports to the mayor, but is also responsible for providing information to the council on the government’s finances and activities.

Christopher L. Beschler, currently the city's deputy chief administrative officer for operations, served as acting chief administrative officer prior to Marshall’s arrival.

Beschler served in the top role on a temporary basis after former chief administrative officer Sheila Hill-Christian resigned in 2008 about five months before the end of former mayor L. Douglas Wilder’s administration.

It was unclear Sunday how the mayor’s office plans to replace Marshall.


Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News