Adrienne Goolsby resigns as RRHA CEO - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side


Adrienne Goolsby resigns as RRHA CEO

Adrienne Goolsby (Source: RRHA) Adrienne Goolsby (Source: RRHA)
Adrienne Goolsby (Source: NBC12) Adrienne Goolsby (Source: NBC12)
(Source: NBC12) (Source: NBC12)

Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority CEO Adrienne Goolsby resigned Friday after less than three years in the post, according to officials.

Goolsby was brought on in April 2012 after a nationwide search which included 130 potential candidates. Prior to coming to Richmond, she served at the Chicago Housing Authority for 11 years, attaining the post of Executive Vice President and Liaison to the Mayor's Office.

“I'm proud of the work we have accomplished at RRHA under my leadership,” said Adrienne Goolsby in a statement. “I leave knowing that this organization is on the right path for the future.”

NBC12 was first get an interview with Sam Young, Chairman of the RRHA Board of Commissioners after the announcement. Young calls the resignation a mutual decision and maintains Goolsby chose to resign and was not forced out of her position.

During Goolsby's tenure, she abruptly closed the RRHA police department, which protected some of the city's most dangerous communities, and came under investigation by HUD and a state senator for issues including how her general counsel is not licensed to practice law in Virginia. Young says those challenges have nothing to do with Goolsby leaving.

The RRHA Board appointed T.K. Somanath, former President and CEO of the Better Housing Coalition, to serve as interim CEO while they conduct a national search for a new leader.

“No one understands the housing challenges facing this community better than T.K. Somanath,” said Commissioner Sam Young. “We believe his years of experience serving those in need will enable us to have a smooth leadership transition.”

We asked Young why the board decided to bring in an outsider as interim-CEO.

"There was definitely a strategy around that and that's probably a fairly long conversation, but we felt like bringing someone from the outside to mind the store if you will was definitely in the best interest strategically of the authority," he responded.

The RRHA Board lauded Goolsby's work on the redevelopment of Creighton Court and developing a 5-year strategic plan, however her term has been scandal-plagued. She dismissed Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Horton while the agency was under federal investigation and facing questions from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) for taking residents of the subsidized housing communities on a trip to a West Virginia casino.

She also drew scrutiny after former RRHA Police Chief Hal Hazleton was place on administrative leave then fired for unknown reasons. Hazleton later sued RRHA claiming he was wrongfully terminated.

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