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

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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.


  • Ron Melancon

    I wounder if they all will get A Rolex watch as parting gifts. If you think this is bad just wait until they audit Public Utilities. A lot of people have not paid their utility bills for years

  • PU.PC

    Media needs to herald the Mayor before he even announes anything?
    Drumroll, Please.
    Stand by……Mo Dwight Clinton Jones, his way.; for Me, Myself and I,
    and My Donor for Tax Dollars Friends.
    Heck with YOU, resident/tax payers.
    Legacy Photo ops one day. Run, hide, escape, evade and refuse all the other days when responsibility and accountability are called into play.
    Any dereliction of duty charges yet? Corruption, Collusion, Fraud?

  • mikey

    Worst mayor in the history of city. No wonder the children of the city continue to go to the worst schools in the state. No wonder the same areas continue to deal with a cycle of poverty. Head Liar #1 is to blame along with his cronies of crooks. They all should be arrested.

  • kevin tolchinsky

    Juvenile Justice, Social Services, Golden Parachute retirements, Baseball in the Bottom w/leasing and selling public land to private entities (illegal), Large personal security force w/2 vehicles, Human Services, . . . it just gets better and better for King Jones and His Court of Fools !! WAKE UP RICHMOND !!!!

    • kevin tolchinsky

      BTW: before I retired I ‘fired’ and/or relieved individuals from positions of responsibility for less . . . City Hall is a circus and the Mayor is the ringleader

  • mbaker9105

    The Richmond City voters deserve exactly what they get. These politicians are more concerned about their little pet projects and how they can benefit rather than the public good (schools, safety, etc.) Rember the saga of Councilman Chuck? It finally took being busted in a Henrico County Hotel with a heroin prostitute to get a prosecution, the City never did anything and the voters kept voting him back in. On and on and on. It’s just a shame Henrico can’t annex the wonderful parts of this historic city to save them, and give back the ruined areas.

  • Bobby R.

    The headline states “mayor announces shake-up at city hall”…; where is the shake- up, all he announced was replacements for two vacant positions. I understand the need to ‘sell newspapers'(read ad space) but this is such a reach it is akin to saying a home run hit at the Diamond landed in Ashland. Best regards.//bobbyr.//

  • Becky

    Amazing how quick this Mayor can react when he feels the vise
    and needs to CA.
    He’s been playing his infamous Interim Musical Chairs Game
    with DSS since his hand-picked Carolyn Graham Scandal of 2012.
    Coincidently, the problems on Brandon Road started then
    with one child viciously attacked and ended with one child
    dying. Dereliction?
    Now CA requires an overnight quick fix on the hand picked
    friend, Sharon Judkins’ Scandal, and yet another, now transparent,
    hidden “deal”.

  • athynz

    Now taking bets on which one will be fired first. I’d say Norman Butts for finding irregularities with the mayor’s finances and he’ll be ousted like Norwood.

  • Glen Allen

    Makes you kind of wonder, with only two years left to the Jones Regime, the new out-of-town people are already likely temporary at best. I guess they will be highly paid so that they too can be blamed for all of the mayor’s many, many inabilities to manage a city. My guess is that Byram Marshall will be next to go (if Mike Herring can do his job – lol), and then they will all squeel like pigs, and the residents will chase the Mayor out of town on foot. No limo, no drivers, no security guards, no advisors, no spokesperson, I wonder if he could find his way home?

  • Glen Turner

    Funny, a story about a “shake-up” at City Hall, and here several hours later there’s a little breaking news insert above the headline reading “3.2 earthquake shakes several counties.” I’ll take Ironic Headlines for 500, Alex.

  • Becky

    Mayor’s Promotionals: “Building a Better Richmond”…with his
    preference Outside, Political, Imports in his Musical Chairs Games.
    He doesn’t speak well for Richmond’s Professional Workforce.

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