City councilman comes clean following CBS 6 investigation
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Richmond City Councilman Doug Conner has admitted to living outside city limits, a potential violation of state law. Conner’s admission came days after CBS 6 investigative reporter Catie Beck questioned the councilman during an interview that aired Friday night on the CBS 6 News at 11.
Over the course of several weeks, Beck investigated Councilman Conner’s living arrangement. During that investigation she found Councilman Conner had several properties listed under his name.
One house inside the 9th district of Richmond of which he was elected to represent, a town home within city limits, but outside his district and a home in Chesterfield County, a 30-minute drive from his district.
“My Chesterfield [County] residence, which I’m sure you’re going to ask me about, is my secondary residence,” Councilman Conner said told Beck in Friday’s interview. “I spend nights at both places I don’t keep a tally, I don’t have time to do that.”
But in an interview published Wednesday morning on timesdispatch.com, Conner offered more details.
In response to a phone call, Councilman Conner sent Beck an email Wednesday morning which read, in part, “I would like to announce that I am absolutely running for the 9th district city council seat. I have been amazed by the unsolicited outpouring of support from the residents of the 9th district since your story came out and I will be running on a strong well-funded campaign.”
Other members of Richmond City Council expressed their dismay about the situation.
“There’s a flaw in the system if no one is checking behind us to see if we are where we say we reside,” Richmond City Council Bruce Tyler told Beck in a story published Monday on WTVR.com.
“These allegations are greatly concerning and speak to the core integrity of Richmond City Council and all its elected members,” said Richmond City Councilman Charles Samuels said in a statement published in the same story. “Council members are elected to represent Richmond families.”
Prior to Councilman Conner’s interview with the Times Dispatch, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones released a statement to CBS 6 News.
“The Mayor certainly feels that all laws should be adhered to. We have no reason to question Councilman Conner’s account concerning his residency. Any investigation does not come under the purview of the Mayor’s office, but would have to be carried out through the Commonwealth Attorney or other appropriate authorities,” said Tammy Hawley, spokeswoman for Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.