Stoney provides some insight into resignation of city’s police chief

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 4:42 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney says now-former Police Chief Gerald Smith had a planned meeting at city hall with the chief administrative officer on Tuesday afternoon.

After that, all the mayor would say is that Smith’s resignation resulted from that meeting between those two. Stoney says he wasn’t present.

“Hold on real quick. I was not in the meeting. And what was the question,” said Mayor Levar Stoney, City of Richmond.

“Should you have been in that meeting?” asked NBC12 reporter Henry Graff.

“At the end of the day, the chief administrative officer is the only employee that works for the mayor in this form of government,” replied Stoney. “I don’t get involved in the hiring and hiring of police chiefs or directors, period.”

Moral issues had plagued the former chief within the police department, recruitment and retention issues and the fallout from his assertion an alleged mass shooting was planned for Dogwood Dell.

“There’s a season for everything. There’s a season for everything. Chief Smith came in during a crisis moment here for the city in 2020. Here in 2022, we’re in a different season,” said Mayor Stoney.

All was quiet Wednesday at Richmond Police Headquarters.

Richmond Acting Police Chief Rick Edwards was sworn-in Tuesday night. He’s been with the police department since 1999. Sources say that he’s developed deep connections during that time and is well aware of violence issues in the city.

“I know that Rick Edwards at the helm is going to do an excellent job in this transition period and then they will be, obviously, involved in giving me ideas about who the next chief will be,” said Stoney.

City councilors are also hopeful that they will have a seat at the table over who becomes the next permanent police chief.

“I’d like would to see us be a part of, as a council representing the entire city and our districts, be a part of that conversation of what those skills are, what those qualities we’re looking for in a new chief,” said Andreas Addison, Richmond City Council.

The acting police chief is expected to make his first public appearance Thursday during the “Trunk or Treat” Community pop-up at Ann Hardy Plaza from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

NBC12 is still awaiting to hear any details about the former chief’s severance package from his employment agreement. Smith remains on administrative leave through the end of the year.