RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s top prosecutor on Friday declined a request from City Councilwoman Kim Gray to investigate Mayor Levar Stoney’s handling of a $1.8 million contract to remove the city’s Confederate statues, which was awarded to a firm with ties to a political donor of the mayor.
In a letter sent to Gray, who is running for mayor against Stoney, Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin cited donations from Devon M. Henry, whose firm NAH LLC was given the contract, to her husband’s own campaign in 2011. McEachin is married to Rep. Donald McEachin, who currently represents Virginia’s 4th Congressional District but was a state senator at the time.
“Although the amount of money donated over nine years ago may not be significant and my husband is no longer in that elective position, it is incumbent upon me to maintain the public trust in this office and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety because of any actions taken by my office,” McEachin wrote to Gray.
McEachin also highlighted a section of Virginia code that states that an investigation into whether an elected official committed a criminal violation could be only initiated at the request of the governor, attorney general or a grand jury.
“No investigation of an elected official of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision to determine whether a criminal violation has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur under the provisions of § 52-8.1 shall be initiated, undertaken or continued except upon the request of the Governor, Attorney General or a grand jury,” the law reads.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported the contract that was awarded to Henry’s firm.
8News reach out to the mayor’s office and have received no response. Gray’s initial request also went to the attorney general’s office and Virginia State Police. She says she has not heard back.