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Richmond firefighters’ union welcomes change after city hall sweep

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RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond mayor Levar Stoney lived up to his campaign promise to restructure city hall Thursday, after the city parted ways with four top-ranking department heads.

One of the department heads effected was Richmond’s Fire Chief Robert Creecy, a 10-year-veteran.

"We wish him and his family well," said Keith Andes, President of the Richmond Firefighters' Association.

Robert Creecy

Robert Creecy

Richmond's firefighters' union applauded Creecy’s hard work, but said it’s time for the city to move in a new direction.

"I think it was time for a change and we look forward to it," he said.

Andes said he hopes Interim Chief David Daniels will provide better communication among the rank and file, something he says was lacking under Creecy's leadership.

"Whether it was policy, directive, common goals… at least let's put something out there that we can all follow," said Andes.

Andes said the union also raised concerns over maintenance issues at fire stations and feeding firefighters on extended calls.

"These are small little things that become gigantic," he added.

Keith Andes

Keith Andes

 

Mayor Stoney cited a personnel matter when he was questioned by reporters Friday about his reason for making sweeping changes.

"I just thought it was time to take the city in a new direction. We're 40 days in and we're ready to leave our mark on the city," said Mayor Stoney.

Chief Creecy, Public Works Director Emmanuel Adediran, Human Services Director Debra Gardner, and Human Resources Director Johnny McLean were part of the shakeup at city hall.

Adediran is the only former employee that did not receive a severance package. Last year, he was at the center of a scandal surrounding the overlap between city business and his church where former Mayor Dwight Jones served as Senior Pastor.

We tried to reach him at his Chesterfield home.

No one answered the door.

As for morale among staff and city employees - The Mayor says he’s already noticed a change since he took his oath of office in January.

“I think I'm seeing more performance out of our organization since then," he said.

Friday afternoon, Stoney also named Korita Jones as the Interim Human Resources Director.

He said he will continue to do a performance evaluation in every department of city hall.