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Richmond DPW Director spent city time working on Mayor Jones’ new church, inspectors find

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in Richmond found Department of Public Works Director Emmanuel O. Adediran spent part of his work day serving as Project Manager for the construction of First Baptist Church in Chesterfield. The Ironbridge Road church is where Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones serves as senior pastor. His son, Richmond School Board member Derik Jones, is also a pastor at the church.

First Baptist Church of South Richmond

First Baptist Church of South Richmond

"The OIG received a complaint that the Interim Director with the Department of Public Works [Adediran] served in the capacity of Project Manager for the construction of First Baptist Church, located on Ironbridge Road in Chesterfield County. The allegation further stated that the Interim Director spent numerous hours during the City’s workday on activities related to this project," the Inspector General's report stated. "The allegation stated that the DPW Interim Director who has now been permanently assigned to that position, spent numerous hours during the City’s workday on visiting the construction site and attending meetings and phone calls related to the project.

Investigators said while a lack of records made it impossible to verify whether Adediran actually visited the site or attended meetings during business hours, the investigator did find Adediran took part in church-related conference calls.

Emmanuel Adediran

Emmanuel Adediran

"The investigator estimated that the Director spent at least 38 hours during the one and a half year time period. In addition, the Director conducted limited communications using the City’s email system related to the church construction," the report detailed. "During the interview, the Director stated that he volunteers at the church and serves as an assistant pastor. He also indicated that he provides guidance for the church construction project and that he typically spends well in excess of 40 hours a week conducting City business."

City inspectors recommended Richmond's Chief Administrative Officer take "appropriate action, as deemed necessary."

Wednesday afternoon, the mayor's office released a statement which said Adediran will exchange 38 hours of vacation time to remove any concern.

This worker has assured the City that he only used personal time for matters unrelated to city business," said CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn. "However, out of an abundance of caution, the Mayor has instructed me to take appropriate action in an effort to remove any concern. The employee has been directed to relinquish 38 hours of accrued vacation leave.  All parties are in agreement with this action.”