Richmond's sheriff says he'll no longer hire members of his family and will abide by a request from city council.
A letter sent to council members signals a major shift for Sheriff C.T. Woody. The strong words became a definitive pledge only to NBC12 cameras.
"I will never, and that's a bad word to use, but never, ever as long as I am sheriff, hire a family member to work for me because it's not worth it," Woody decreed.
It's not worth it to Woody after a long battle played out in the media. Council members asked him to follow the city's nepotism policy, which he's not legally obligated to do.
"I am a constitutionally elected officer," he maintained. "I have not violated any laws."
The policy is specific and prohibits certain immediate family members from working under him in the department. The relationships include mother, father, husband, wife, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, legal ward and anyone else who lives in the house.
NBC12 went over the numbers. There were six family members working for Sheriff Woody who would fall under the city's nepotism policy. Now after the shift, there are only two.
We've learned Woody's son is still employed as a certified law enforcement officer, but doesn't report directly to him. His sister is also still his executive assistant and handles sensitive matters. We asked the sheriff why the two were grandfathered in.
"I need both of them to move forward, along with my other team to do the transition into the new jail," he claimed.
But Woody also said the two are the last family members he will hire while he is Richmond's sheriff.
With four other family members gone, Woody admits: "I'm not a perfect sheriff. I never will be. I've learned from some mistakes. I've learned from experience."
Woody added he's done after those comments. He'll no longer do interviews on the nepotism policy.
The letter was sent out Friday. Woody says he has not heard any feedback from city council members.
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