RICHMOND (WRIC)—The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority Police Department has named Sergeant Francis Zumansky as the interim police chief following Chief Hal Hazleton's placement on administrative leave. Hazleton's secretary was also suspended.
Commissioners met in private Wednesday night to discuss the suspended chief's fate.
"The RRHA Police Department, as I mentioned before, continues to operate as normal, so we continue to provide all of the public safety services and opportunities to our citizens," said RRHA Public Relations Manager Osita Iroegbu.
While that statement is the RRHA's party line, the operation of the housing authority's police department is currently anything but normal. Sources within the organization told 8News that Chief Hazleton, who has manned the helm of the department for 13 years, is on administrative leave. But that's something RRHA commissioners and management refuse to discuss.
"I don't know whether he is or not," said an RRHA commissioner.
"At this point that is a personnel matter," Iroegbu said.
At Wednesday night's meeting, when it came time to discuss the situation with Chief Hazleton, the board moved behind closed doors. While members of the media attempted to question the commissioners outside following the meeting, all that was said was "no comment." At this point it is unclear when or even if Hazleton will be returning to duty. 8News visited the chief's Dinwiddie home Wednesday looking to speak with him; no one answered the door, but his department-issued SUV was in the driveway.
During the past week there have been numerous allegations of fraud, racial discrimination and wrongful termination leveled against both the RRHA and its police department. 8News continues to monitor the situation.
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