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Richmond mayor announces shake-up at City Hall; supports Byron Marshall

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced two new hires at City Hall during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, and he spoke of them as change agents.

Norman Butts was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Finance and Administration. Butts comes to Richmond from Leesburg, Virginia where he served as Director of Finance.

Norman Butts was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Finance and Administration.

Norman Butts was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Finance and Administration.

Debra Gardner was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Human Services. Gardner previously worked as Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Debra Garder was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Human Services

Debra Gardner was named Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Human Services.

Mayor Jones addressed recent controversies that lead up to today’s new hire announcements.

Namely one that broke last week when Sharon Judkins left her job as DCAO for Finance and Administration. Judkins last days on the job coincided with an investigation into an agreement she made with the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall. That agreement, the city auditor said, could have led to a “substantial loss” to the city.

Former Richmond Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) Sharon Judkins

Former Richmond Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) Sharon Judkins

Richmond Auditor Umesh Dalal said his investigation found Judkins was about to rack up nearly $408,000 in benefits because Marshall approved giving her 800-plus hours of unused sick time that she accrued during a previous employment stint she completed with the city.

Marshall has since taken those hours away and amended Judkins’ severance package.

Dalal suggested the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office review the case and determine whether any laws were broken.

“I will wait along with [Richmond taxpayers] to find out what the Commonwealth’s Attorney has to say,” Mayor Jones said when asked if he had a message for people concerned over the Judkins-Marshall deal. “Mr. Marshall is our CAO. He brings a specific set of skills to this position. I will continue to work with him.”

Carolyn Graham

Carolyn Graham

Richmond has been with a permanent DCAO for Human Services since Carolyn Graham left the job, amid controversy, in late 2012.