Mayor Jones refutes claims he will replace Norwood

Posted at 11:58 PM, Oct 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-04 23:58:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--In recent weeks the city of Richmond has experienced its highest homicide rate in years; in addition two police officers were fired for alleged threats to the President and First Lady.

That's enough for the Mayor and his staff to make a move, said government watchdog Paul Goldman, and possibly replace Richmond’s 16th police chief, Bryan Norwood.  Norwood was tapped for the position by former Mayor Wilder in 2008.

“I think they're going to send a message by making it clear to everybody that Norwood didn't do what we wanted and he is no longer the police chief,” Goldman said.

Goldman said the police chief's potential ousting has been brewing for quite some time. He said it began when Chief Norwood didn't fire those two officers in time, after the mayor's indirect request.

Goldman claimed the recent spike in murders just seals the deal.  "Mayor Jones, when he asks you to do something and you don't do it, you don't get a second chance,” Goldman said.

Goldman also said that the mayor and his administration are clearly setting up the chess board for an assumed re-election, putting in place people Jones wants to appoint.

"They're moving on all fronts,” he said. “They're trying to take over the school board, they're trying to take over city council.”

“They're going to put their own person as police chief,” he said.  

“This has nothing to do with the chief of police,” Mayor Jones told CBS 6. “This has nothing to do with me as mayor.”

He refuted all claims made that he's looking to replace Chief Norwood.

The mayor said that this murder spike is cyclical, citing Chicago’s increase in crime. Jones told CBS 6 that he doesn't fault the chief or his officers for what's taking place.

“People get caught,” he said, “they go to prison.”

“They come back out and if they haven't changed their life and their values, they do the same thing and we have to start all over again,” Jones said.

Jones said that he is focused on improving the economic condition for city residents, which he cites as the main problem.