RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - RRHA Police Chief Hal Hazelton has been fired, according to sources.
Sources say Hazelton recently learned of his termination by letter, which informed him he was relieved of his duties as of October 15. Those sources say the letter did not provide any indication why he was fired from his job leading a department that protects some of the poorest and most dangerous communities in Richmond. Hazelton is now taking legal action against RRHA.
Hazelton was placed on administrative leave last month following complaints and allegations involving fraud, wrongful termination, discrimination and lack of proper background checks for employees. Still, sources inside City Hall say the revelation of the firing came as a surprise.
Just before Hazelton was suspended, sources say RRHA Corporal Joel Addison was fired. He says he was let go after being asked questions about his personal life. He is a black man who explained he's involved with a white woman with whom he works. We're told there is no supervisory connection between the two. The corporal maintains Chief Hazelton went to bat for him. Soon after, the chief was placed on leave.
The mayor's office tells NBC12 it was informed of the vacancy for the RRHA Police Chief position. The agency has asked the Richmond Police Department for help finding an interim chief. RRHA says Sgt. Fran Dumansky is currently performing the administrative management duties of the police department and reporting directly into the RRHA CEO.
Officials have been tight-lipped about the situation from the very beginning. Wednesday, RRHA refused to confirm Hazelton's employment status. Instead, it provided a written statement saying, "While it would be inappropriate to comment on specific personnel matters, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is committed to a diverse workforce and places the highest priority on diversity, inclusion and its mission to serve."
NBC12 contacted the new chairman of the RRHA Board of Commissioners. Sam Young said he also would not be able to comment because the situation involving Chief Hazelton is a personnel matter.
Hazelton has not responded to repeated requests for comment.