Law suit filed to force release of secret Byron Marshall documents proceeds

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Operations Christopher Beschler will function as the interim CAO.

Byron Marshall has resigned from his post as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer-a position not unlike the King’s Hand in Game of Thrones. The circumstances of his resignation are shrouded in secrecy and nondisclosure agreements (which four City Council members refused to signed). Carol A.O Wolf’s lawsuit to force a release of the documents proceeds, despite the city’s hopes to have the suit tossed out.


The city, like any other, has the right to resolve disputes privately Stephen Hall, attorney representing the city
Source: RVANewsDate: 2.4.2015

It is highly unusual for a resignation like this in any municipality to remain a secret, and even more unusual that a confidentiality agreement is required to ascertain the facts surrounding it. It is certainly an anathema to open and transparent government. Councilman Jon Baliles
Source: 1st District NewsletterDate: 10.1.2014

The idea that an employment contract for the highest-ranking city official can be shielded from taxpayers because it is a “personnel matter” is ethically offensive. Carol A.O. Wolf
Source: Style WeeklyDate: 9.23.2014

It is not uncommon for high-level executives to negotiate separation packages Tammy Hawley, Press Secretary
Source: Richmond Times-DispatchDate: 9.23.2014

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go…These jobs serve at the pleasure of the mayor…so any day in a strong-mayor form of government, the mayor can say, you know, ‘I no longer need your services.’Byron Marshall
Source: Richmond Times-DispatchDate: 9.17.2014

So far Baliles, Trammell and Agelasto have said they haven’t signed confidentiality agreement about CAO departure.Ned Oliver
Source: TwitterDate: 9.16.2014

Ultimately, it’s not a very transparent departure…It’s the kind of statement that raises dozens of questions. And it’s unlikely to stand as it is. Bob Holsworth, Public policy consultant
Source: Richmond Times-DispatchDate: 9.16.2014

On signing the confidentiality agreement: “I felt like it was really important for the council president to know what was going on” in case the body needed to respond in some way, he said. Councilman Charles Samuels
Source: Richmond Times-DispatchDate: 9.16.2015

“I told them it’s going to be a cold day in hell before I sign anything like a [confidentiality agreement]…I think it’s a damn shame that everything we do we’ve got to go sign something to keep the taxpayers of Richmond in the dark.” Councilwoman Reva Trammell
Source: Richmond Times-DispatchDate: 9.15.2014

Mayor’s office saying they won’t release Marshall resignation letter because it’s a “personnel record that is protected” Graham Moomaw
Source: TwitterDate: 9.15.2014

I look forward to working with the administration on finding a suitable replacement. Councilman Charles Samuels
Source: TwitterDate: 9.15.2014

Mr. Marshall has served in the position of CAO longer than most would have had an opportunity to do so, as a result of my being elected to a second term.Mayor Jones

Source: Press release • Date: 9.15.2014

Required reading

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Council members who refused to sign the confidentiality agreement

  • Councilman Jon Baliles (1st District)
  • Councilman Chris Hilbert (3rd District)
  • Councilman Parker Agelasto (5th District)
  • Councilwoman Reva Trammell (8th District)

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Mayor Announces Marshall’s Resignation

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced that he has accepted the resignation of Byron Marshall. Marshall resigned from his position as chief administrative officer (CAO) after having served over five years in the top operations position.

“Mr. Marshall has served in the position of CAO longer than most would have had an opportunity to do so, as a result of my being elected to a second term,” said Jones. “We are grateful to have had his service for more than five years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors. The city has benefited in many ways during his tenure.”

Christopher Beschler, deputy chief administrative officer for operations, has been named as interim CAO by Jones. Beschler has served in this capacity previously and is seen as amply-qualified to manage city operations during the transition period.

“Along with Chris, we have a capable team in place – many of whom have been with me since the beginning – and we are anticipating moving forward without interruption.”

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Surprised by the lack of comments on this. I find it very alarming the lengths Jones and his team are going to keep this quiet. As public servants, aren’t we entitled to see these personnel records? Marshall ultimately worked for the tax payers, but apparently Jones does not see it that way.

  2. Carol A.O. Wolf for mayor 2016!

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