Tag Archives: Michael Herring

Doug Wilder: Out of Office, In the News

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

When you least expect it, Doug Wilder slips back into my blog. And this one has turned into a doozy of a story. I had a headache most of the day trying to track down all the sides to this one. Here’s the basics: In 2007, (Under the Wilder administration) Richmond decided to buy 40 new police cruisers. The city bought them from Sheehy Ford and spent just under a million dollars. Sounds easy enough, right? Leave it to City Auditor Umesh Dalal to find the rub.

Turns out the city broke its own rules. (Procurement rules) Dalal says the city should have used a sealed bid process and given every Ford dealership in the area a chance to get that contract. We don’t know why this one dealership was choosen. (I’m digging) A city official has now resigned. 

ERIC MENSDirector of Procurement Eric Mens handed in his resignation on June 30th for August 30th.  And Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring is investigating. We tried to reach Mr. Mens but he’s out of the office until Monday. This story is not over yet. If this investigation makes it to a grand jury, it will be interesting to see who names who and who says what.

Here is Mayor Dwight Jones full statement on the matter:

“These are very serious allegations. I’ve had discussions with my leadership team about this matter. As a result, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Byron Marshall, has initiated an administrative review that will be conducted by the Deputy CAO for Operations, Chris Beschler and will be completed within a week to ten days. While this review is underway, Garland Williams will serve as acting director of Procurement Services. Williams is presently acting as assistant director of the City’s Department of Budget and Strategic Planning and has previously served as acting director of the City’s Department of Economic Development.

“This administration has respect for the rules of law and will not condone any misuse of public office. In follow up to the City Auditor’s submission of his report to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, I contacted the Commonwealth’s Attorney to indicate the City’s desire to cooperate and offer any assistance that may be necessary if the matter should require action on their part. We want to ensure a procurement process that is fair, competitive, transparent, cost-efficient, impartial and above all, ethical.”

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Filed under City Hall, City Investigation, Dwight Jones

Breaking Down Richmond’s Murder Rate

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

As of now, we stand at 27 homicides for the year. Another shooting is currently under investigation and we’re awaiting word as to whether the death of a women in the Museum District last week is a homicide. Last year we had 32 murders… A 37 year low. Once you reach a record low, there is inevitably no where to go but back up. That fact, coupled with the economy means crimes of desperation are on the rise. We’ve seen a string of convenience store robbers in the past week, where the suspects opened fire. A clerk was killed, another was shot six times, but is expected to survive. I spoke with Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring at length today. He, and Police Chief Bryan Norwood say the economy is a factor. Drug activity is also soaring again. There are a lot of reasons contributing to a rise in the rate, but you have to also step back and look at the bigger picture. Even 30 or 50 murders this year is far less than the 80 to 90 we averaged just 10 years ago or the 180 a few years prior to that. Last year may have been an anomaly, but it’s too soon to start pointing the finger at local agencies or people in new jobs. We need to stay vigilant as a community and watch out for our neighbors.

Successes so far this year:

Commercial Burglaries- down 49%

Commercial Robberies- down 47%

Aggravated Assaults with Firearm- down 26%

Purse Snatching- down 43%

Crime to watch so far this year:

Individual Robberies- up 10%

Theft from Buildings- up 31%

Theft from Motor Vehicle- up 53%

 

 

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Filed under Crime, Richmond, Uncategorized

Richmond Primary Day

Rachel DePompa – bio | email 

Rachel DePompa

Another June, Another election day. Well, a primary. Are people even voting? I keep hearing turnout is going to be so low. Should be interesting to see what that means.  There is really only one big race in the city and that’s for the democratic nod for Sheriff. Incumbent C.T. Woody is up against Major Antoinette Irving with the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Woody has the endorsement of all the major players… Mayor Dwight Jones, Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring. Sheriff Woody was also recently given the nod by the Times Dispatch.

I’m glad there are no big races for me to cover this time. That mayor’s race wiped me out. For the very latest on primary check out my co-worker, Ryan Noble’s blog. Decision Virginia will be very busy today.

 

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Filed under Election