Preacher Mayor Dwight C. Jones Needs to Read His Bible ...

"For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known."  

~  Luke 12:12, King James Version

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and former Richmond CAO Byron C. Marshall must think the citizens of Richmond are a bunch of fools.  I hope that after you read my e-mail correspondence with city officials this week,  you will let your elected representatives know that they need to get their backbones and brains in motion and let Hizzoner know we are not going to let him get away with this.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 12:25 pm
Subject: Re: FOIA Request ...

Ms. Hawley, Mr. Jackson: 
Iis absurd to say that an agreement is an attorney-client privileged communication because it was prepared by a lawyer.  If that is all it takes to preclude disclosure of the document, then no contract would be discoverable because they are almost all prepared by lawyers and then communicated to their client.

However, your stated rationale for refusing to provide even an unsigned copy of the so-called Confidentiality Agreement and a list of the City Council members who signed it (or did not sign it), raises the question of just who is the client in this matter.  Clearly, the client is NOT City Council members individually nor collectively since they did not ask counsel to prepare such a document prior to learning (or not learning) the details of Mr. Marshall's departure from Richmond City Hall and the terms of his buyout package. 

Consequently, this document and the information contained therein has already been disclosed to "non-clients."  As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Jackson, disclosure to a third party constitutes a waiver of attorney-client privilege.

The idea that the terms of an executive's employment contract -- in fact, the highest ranking official in Richmond City government -- can be shielded from the public and taxpayers because it is a "personnel matter" is ethically offensive.  This logic might work in private business, but it has no place in public policy. If the details of employment and the details of the departure from public employment can be shielded, the city could enter into outrageous contracts and never need to reveal what is happening to public money.  Recall the case of what happened in Bell, California. (  The Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer Prize for their investigations into what was dubbed "Corruption on Steroids," a scandal about a small city "whose leaders paid themselves outsized salaries."

I hope you know that I have no personal issue with either of you.  I know you are simply trying to do your jobs.  Having served as an elected official and as a journalist, I know there are dedicated individuals in government who are truly public servants doing their utmost to safeguard the public's money and trust.  That said, I hope that you will reconsider your decision that the documents I have requested are shielded and not subject to public disclosure. And Mr. Jackson, I ask that you recognize that the public offices -- and not the people who occupy them -- as well as the citizens of Richmond are your real clients.

Meanwhile, Ms. Hawley, I ask that you please provide a copy of the job description for CAO that was in effect prior to 2009 so I can determine what changes were made immediately prior to employing Mr. Marshall.  Additionally, the information you provided in your e-mail of Sept. 4, 2014 concerning Ken Johnson and the compensation he and his company have received from the City of Richmond was "interesting," but non-responsive to my FOIA request.  I look forward to receiving the remaining information from my Sept. 2, 2014 e-mail to your office. 

Carol A.O. Wolf
-----Original Message-----
To: wolfies <
Sent: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 5:35 pm
Subject: RE: FOIA Request

Hello Ms. Wolf,
In response to your FOIA request below, please be aware of the following:

1. The requested confidentiality agreements, which were executed by legal counsel and handled under the direction and advise of legal counsel are being withheld under the attorney/client privilege exemption (Va. Code § 3705.1(2)) as well as the personnel record exclusion.

2..  The document is a personnel record not subject to disclosure under the FOIA, Va. Code §§ 2.2-3705.1(1) and 2.2-3705.8(A)(i). The separation agreement itself also provides for confidentiality.

3. All such documents (however many there may be) are personnel records not subject to disclosure under the FOIA, Va. Code §§ 2.2-3705.1(1).

4.  Attached is a copy of the employment agreement and a record of compensation (real and deferred). I have also attached a reproduced copy of the job description for the position of CAO as available on the city's website.


From: []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 1:52 PM
To: Hawley, Tammy D. - OPS; Jackson, Allen L. - City Attorney
Subject: FOIA Request
Ms. Hawley: 

Please provide: 

1.)   the names of the City Council members who signed confidentiality agreements with any agent(s) or representative(s) of the City of Richmond concerning the recent resignation of Byron Marshall as CAO;
2.)   any and all documentation that provides the details of the severance package and any and all other financial agreements between Byron Marshall and any agent(s) or representative(s) of the City of Richmond;
3.)  copies of the resume and all other documents Byron Marshall originally submitted when he applied for employment with the City of Richmond and all documents submitted since that verify his education and employment history;
4.)  and copies of all employment agreement(s) between Byron Marshall with any agent(s) or representative(s) of the City of Richmond, including all addendums, job descriptions and duties, including all forms of compensation, real and deferred. 

Carol A.O. Wolf