October Festival Guide

Was out-going city official illegally granted $400,000 worth of sick time?

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Out-going Richmond Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) Sharon Judkins was given more than $400,000 on her way out the door thanks to some unusual bookkeeping, according to a report filed by Richmond City Auditor Umesh Dalal.

Judkins last day at work was Friday, according to Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ spokeswoman Tammy Hawley.

Judkins, who helped oversee Richmond’s IT department, was the subject of a 2013 CBS 6 investigation after she came out against each and every recommendation the city auditor made after his review of the Richmond Department of Information Technology RAPIDS system.

Dalal said his most recent investigation into Judkins uncovered Richmond Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Byron Marshall allowed Judkins to get credit for more than 800 hours of unused sick time she collected during a previous 19-year career in the city of Richmond. Judkins returned to City Hall when Marshall hired her in 2012.

Judkins and Marshall met while serving together on the same board of a professional organization, Dalal noted. He found it was highly irregular for the city to give an employee credit for past time spent in between city jobs.

“Restoring unused sick leave from prior employment appears to be a unique transaction, which the CAO entered into for the sole benefit of the DCAO,” Dalal wrote in his report. “In addition, the transaction does not comply with the City’s Code of Ethics.”

Dalal said he recommended the Mayor’s Office work with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, laws had been broken.

In addition to the unused sick time, Dalal found Judkins was credited for an additional 147.2 hours of vacation time on a single day, February 28, 2014.

“Further investigation revealed that this adjustment was done erroneously by an untrained Finance Department employee who was not supervised appropriately,” Dalal wrote. “The City Controller to whom this employee reported to did not review or verify the accuracy of this adjustment. The Finance employee’s error accrued additional vacation benefit to the DCAO valued at $11,766. This error must be reversed.”

However, Marshall now says his recent decision to grant Judkins’s unused sick time was a mistake.

The auditor’s report questions Marshall’s recent decision to compensate Judkins for more than eight hundred hours of unused sick leave.

That time was accumulated during a previous stint working with the city, not the job she has had since being re-hired in 2012.

“She should have given it back. It wasn’t right for taxpayers for her to get all that sick time, knowing she’s not there anymore,” concerned taxpayer Ralph Green told CBS 6 News.

Marshall was not at City Hall Monday, so CBS 6 News took our questions to the mayor’s office. Spokesperson Tammy Hawley said that Marshall has addressed the auditor’s concerns in a recent letter.

CBS 6 News obtained a copy of that letter. Hawley says Marshall has since recommended not paying Judkins for those 800 sick hours. The letter outlines his reasons. He says the hours were granted in error. Marshall also explains that his decision to approve the sick hours was based upon flawed advice given to him by the city’s Human Resources department.

Mayor Dwight Jones, concerned about the auditor’s report, is now putting the matter in the hands of Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring. Jones wants Herring to determine if there was any criminal wrongdoing.

“We do want to be good stewards of tax dollars. We want to have the matter thoroughly examined. Certainly Mayor Jones feels that anyone who knowingly engages in wrong doing should be held accountable,” Hawley said. “Out of an abundance of caution we would have all levels of review deemed necessary and the auditor suggests we forward this to the Commonwealth Attorney for review. We feel that is an appropriate action.”

CBS 6 News reached out to Judkins at her home Monday and received no response. We also contacted Mike Herring, but he said it’s too early in the process to determine if there is any criminal wrongdoing.

Stay with CBS 6 News for the latest developments in this story.

29 comments

  • mikey

    Typical City of Richmond crook. Why are Ricmond City School the worst in the state? Because of crooks like this and Bryon Marshall. Stealing from their own

  • todd

    so Richmond are you enjoying your affirmative action now?You wanted it,voted for them and you got what you deserved.Why would Richmond be any different then the post office,social services most state run hospitals and gov agencies,oh and Detroit?enjoy

  • Sammy Johnson

    Welcome to the sh ty of Richmond. These ELECTED officials seem to care so much for their voters. WHEN WHEN will the voters ever WAKE UP?? Gotta really want to believe to keep putting these crooks in office.

  • i said so

    looks like shameeka is wearing 400, 000 african garb. the blacks have really screwed up richmond. corruption in every department. the teachers at rps speak ebonics to the students and cannot formulate proper sentences. i worked there for a very short time, thank gawd.

    • Marcus

      “looks like shameeka is wearing 400, 000 african garb.”

      Okay that sentence doesn’t make sense but I do have to ask, where is there a picture of Judkins wearing African garb? Also, are you using the word shameeka as a substitute for the “n” word? Help me to understand where you are coming from.

  • Mud Hopper

    WoW!! according to my calculator, she’s making 500 bones a sick hour. That’s nice pay for anyone..

    • Sandra

      No we don’t need him as president just yet. We need him to expose all corruption in Richmond 1st so deadbeats can get kicked out. He’s doing an excellent job in letting the public know his findings.

      • kevin tolchinsky

        he does . . . he did . . . the Mayor won’t/doesn’t want to press criminal charges . . .

  • reeltime

    This from the city auditor’s report on the RAPIDS audit released Jan 2014. Judkins was in charge of implementation of this new finance software program.
    “After multiple requests, the auditors did not receive details and supporting documentation for the RAPIDS expenditures. In the absence of full disclosure and proper classification of all expenses, it is not possible to verify if the project was completed at, below, or over budget. Lack of this basic information is concerning, as the accountability over the resources incurred cannot be verified.”
    This is even more concerning considering the taxpayers paid for this and get no accountability from Judkins. She refused to provide this info, in fact, according to the audit they fought against the audit and stonewalled the team. This incompetence and secrecy is rampant across this administration and it appears the ones that are put in the spotlight have been hired by Marshall.
    http://www.richmondgov.com/Auditor/reports.aspx

  • omar

    this is disturbing, the real question is anyone gonna get prosecuted for this corruption? has anyone been prosecuted before for corruption in Richmond?

  • Sandra

    Wow! $500/hr. for unused sick leave? That’s one heck of a perk! Not to mention, a huge city budget BUSTER! Good thing for Richmond that someone decided to question the potential payout BEFORE the check was cut!

  • Becky

    Oh, what a tangled web…
    The Bryon Marshall BLAMING his HR Department.
    He is directly responsible for the day-to-day municipal operations ALL
    of the City’s agencies and departments.
    Marshall “out of the office”; interview conducted in a hallway.
    The Mayor traditionally in protective hiding. Only comes out for
    his Legacy/Agenda Photo Ops.
    These two Execs hand-picked this “friend”. Another Friend
    in another scandal.
    Being very Friendly with their Package “Deal”.
    Don’t try to hold them Responsible, because they AREN’T/REFUSE.

  • manalishi

    It’s a democrat thing. Anyone notice that this is 3 times larger that “gift gate”? Democrats stereotypically live their lives this way and expect you to accept their lower or complete lack of standards. It’s called tolerance. I’ts the reason government is broke, you streets are crime ridden, and your kids aren’t being educated at school.

  • T Sweeney

    When dealing with government, incompetence is the first choice, ignorant arrogance second, corruption third.

    I think 1 or 2 is the choice here.

  • kim

    Ok, so for everyone saying Democrat. … a lot of corruption goes on in other government jurisdictions as well as wall street(corporate America) and they are not all Democrat some are republiCANTS.

    • kim

      I feel sorry for your kids if you have any… If you don’t, spare us all! Are you saying Republicans never were involved in corruption?

  • Beth McDonald

    Judkins worked for the Santa clara Valley Water District in San Jose California also as an administrator. They all learn how to get more money from their employer by lying about the expenses, sick leave, vacation, etc. at the taxpayers’ expense; she is no exception. She doesn’t deserve the $400K … give it back to the taxpayers.

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