Prosecutor decides to investigate $1.8 million contract to remove Richmond’s Confederate statues

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney has decided to investigate Richmond’s $1.8 million contract to remove the city’s Confederate states.  

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin, who was appointed by a Richmond judge to decide whether to start the probe, is now making a formal request to Attorney General Mark Herring in order to investigate the contract awarded to a political donor of Mayor Levar Stoney. 

Devon Henry, the head of NAH LLC., had made four campaign contributions totaling $4,000 to Stoney since 2016. The first two $1,000 contributions were made in 2016 to “RVA for Stoney.” The other two $1,000 donations were made to his PAC “One Richmond” in 2019.

Stoney’s use of the firm NAH LLC. to remove city statues depicting Confederate symbols was brought into question by Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Kim Gray back in August. Paperwork filed with the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond says local media reported that NAH LLC. was created 10 days before Stoney ordered the removal of the monuments. 

Virginia Code says an investigation into whether an elected official committed a criminal violation can only be initiated at the request of the governor, attorney general or grand jury.

Martin told 8News he has sent a letter to Herring, making this formal request to begin an investigation. 

8News is still waiting to hear back from Herring.

The attorney for Levar Stoney, Jeffrey Breit, said he and his client are confident in investigators to conduct interviews, and when evidence is turned over, they will find “nothing wrong whatsoever with the process that (Stoney) used.”

Stoney cited use of “emergency powers” in decision to take them down in wake of other toppled statues, as a safety measure. Back in July, he said the city had 139 calls for service in the Monument Avenue corridor.

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