Richmond paid $400,000 in severance to 4 executives - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond paid $400,000 in severance to 4 executives


The City of Richmond has paid nearly $400,000 to top executives on their way out of City Hall in just the last year and a half, according to a review of records.

The amount doesn't factor in the deal offered to Sharon Judkins, the latest executive leaving the City. Her proposed sick leave would have given her around $400,000, according to the auditor. The severance deal was found to violate the code of ethics and is now being investigated by the Commonwealth's Attorney.

The records show since January 2013, the City has paid more than $387,000 in severance to four people -- one who was fired, two others were urged to leave and a fourth who left under a cloud of suspicion.

The first severance package went to Carolyn Graham in December 2012. After problems in several City agencies under her watch, she suddenly left City Hall and was given a nearly $60,000 severance deal.

She was followed out the door by former Police Chief Bryan Norwood. He left in February 2013 at the urging of the mayor, with a $67,000 exit package.

In March 2013, City Council fired its clerk, Alvin Anderson. He walked away with a $68,000 severance plan.

Then, in June 2013, Yvonne Brandon stepped down as Richmond Public Schools Superintendent with two years left on her contract. It was called a mutual decision. Her exit package totaled $192,000.

A 2004 City ordinance spells out the City's severance rules. Executives are entitled to it as long as they're terminated "for any reason other than malfeasance." According to a legal expert that's wrongdoing or breaking the law, which is difficult to prove.

It's up to City Council to make any changes to its severance guidelines. In the past, members have said these deals are necessary to compete with the private sector and to help them hire good people. 

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