Email sheds light on abrupt termination of RRHA police chief

Posted at 12:02 AM, Oct 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-24 06:22:46-04

rrhaletter2RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–We’ve been trying to get answers for nearly a month concerning the sudden departure of the Richmond  Redevelopment and Housing Authority police chief.

Leadership remained silent as to why their veteran chief with 14 years on the job so hastily departed, and was officially terminated Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Details have finally surfaced about Hal Hazelton’s removal, facts that have come to light through an email obtained by CBS 6.

The email was sent by Hazelton to several RRHA board members back on September 22nd.

Hazelton wrote that he was disgusted and angry after the recent firing of one of his officers. That officer claimed racism played a role in his dismissal. But Hazelton goes beyond the single incident to say,”I am no longer going to tolerate this activity in this agency and am prepared to do whatever it takes.”

Hazelton then asks the members to remove RRHA's leadership saying he's prepared to go outside his department to protect employees from "a leader who has obviously lost control.”

Hazelton expressed more concern about management targeting certain employees including himself for termination, he referenced a sort of "hit list.”

He then attached a few emails from co-workers concerned about corruption and unfair treatment.

The email was sent shortly before two that afternoon. It would be just four hours later that Hazelton would learn by phone that he had been placed on leave.

In the weeks that followed CBS 6 pressed RRHA leadership for an explanation, each time being told that Hazelton's case was a personnel matter and would not be addressed.

That all changed Wednesday when we learned from several sources that Hazelton had in fact been fired, but the question of why exactly still remains unanswered.

CBS 6 spoke with Hazelton by phone Wednesday. He told us he is unable to make any comment about his case at this time but did confirm that he has retained an attorney to represent him in this case.