Mayor Stoney on city auditor scandal: 'Sad to see him go'

Mayor Stoney on city auditor scandal: 'Sad to see him go'

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney says he is sad to see former Richmond City Auditor Umesh Dalal go, but the decision was entirely in the hands of the City Council.

Stoney says City Council has not yet given his office access to the report leading out of a third-party investigation into Dalal's conduct in the workplace.

Dalal resigned during a special city council meeting last night, in the midst of an HR scandal. Sources say his staff accused him of workplace bullying. The City Council then launched a third-party investigation, which came to a head Monday evening.

Stoney says he's worked well with Dalal since he took office six months ago.

"He came to my office. We talked about how we wanted to work together to create more transparency for city government. I am sad to see him go, but it's a decision of the City Council. We thank him for his service," said Stoney.

Dalal has worked for the city for nearly a decade, uncovering headline-grabbing fraud and waste over the years. Stoney refuted claims made by City Councilwoman Reva Trammell that the administration wanted to get rid of Dalal because he found too much fraud and waste, embarrassing the city. Stoney's administration has been in operation for six months.

Dalal was not in the city auditor's office on Tuesday. Employees said, "He no longer works here."

Dalal has been pretty silent on his resignation so far, but his attorney, Harris Butler, stated over the weekend that Dalal had "rigorous audit standards." Harris also questioned whether the employees raising those complaints had negative job reviews, or if they could benefit from Dalal's removal.

Stoney also said he has no issue with the City Council hiring a replacement auditor.

City officials are remaining tight-lipped on how much Dalal is receiving in his severance, and how much tax payer money was shelled out for the third party investigation into Dalal. NBC12's Richmond reporter Kelly Avellino with have a full update at 5 p.m.

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