Questions still surround the firing of longtime Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority Police Chief Hal Hazelton. NBC12 is asking the woman in charge of RRHA what is going on inside that police department.
We were able to reach now-former Chief Hazelton, but he couldn't comment on the situation. We have also left messages for his attorney. Sources tell NBC12 even Hazelton himself wasn't told exactly why he was fired from his post.
We took the question to the woman who signed the letter notifying the longtime chief of his termination. Chief Executive Officer Adrienne Goolsby entered a meeting open only to RRHA employees just as it started.
When we asked why she fired Chief Hazelton, Goolsby responded, "We are on our way into a meeting and I cannot comment on personnel matter." When asked if she thinks the people who live in these communities have a right to know what's going on with their police department she answered, "Ms. Geller, I do not have the ability to comment on personnel matters."
That is the line we've been getting from RRHA officials since this ordeal started about a month ago. They have been tight-lipped but sources give us the timeline. At first, Hazelton was suddenly put on administrative leave without any apparent explanation. Then in a letter dated October 15th, he was abruptly fired.
The man a spokeswoman says is now leading the police department stood with officers outside the Calhoun Center Thursday. None of the employees walking into the meeting there would talk. We're told it was only for them and we don't know at this point if the situation with the RRHA Police Department was discussed.
It is something, however, the people who rely on the RRHA Police Department to protect them are discussing.
We asked one woman, who did not want to be identified if she thinks the community should know why the police chief was fired.
"Yes ma'am because he's out here," she said. "He's the chief so he's the one who's supposed to be controlling the police officers and directing them what to do. So if he's fired for no reason then that makes us wonder."
We also have been keeping in touch with the RRHA Police corporal who believes the chief was fired for going to bat for him. Joel Addison had been fired but we've just learned that decision was reversed and he's now on administrative leave. No reason was given for that decision either.
Sources also tell us recently, federal investigators have talked to police officers and former employees to try to figure out what is going on inside RRHA
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