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Aide resigns after apologizing to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney

Posted at 5:07 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 07:11:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. – The man convicted of embezzling nearly $240,000 and violating probation by sending threatening text messages, has resigned from his position as executive assistant to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Mayor Stoney's press secretary Jim Nolan confirmed the mayor accepted Steven Hammond Jr.'s resignation.

Hammond released a statement that read:

I have made mistakes in my past that I am not proud of, and the words I used in the disagreement with the mother of my daughters are inexcusable. That is not who I am today. I am sorry that I was not more forthcoming with Mayor Stoney about these issues, and I appreciate the opportunity that he gave me. I do not want to be a distraction from the important work that lies ahead, so I have offered my immediate resignation.

Hammond's resignation comes after it was reported he violated probation and threatened the mother of his children in a series of text messages.

Court documents showed the woman secured an emergency protection order against Hammond after he sent threatening messages and called her phone a total of 42 times over the course of 35 to 40 minutes.

The woman said Hammond was angry because he was not able to reach her and speak to their daughters.

In one message Hammond stated “I’m on my way to your home,” and in another he said "the next time I see you, I'm going to punch you in your f****** face."

Steven Hammond Jr.

Steven Hammond Jr.

Court documents showed the woman was concerned about what Hammond was capable of doing after he picked up their daughter from day care without her permission. Hammond pleaded guilty to the violation in February 2016.

"The Mayor did not know about this past incident, and he is incredibly disappointed," Nolan said on behalf of Mayor Stoney. "There is never an excuse, no matter the circumstances, for threatening violence."

Hammond's resignation came one day after Mayor Stoney defended hiring Hammond saying he “believes in second chances.”

"When I ran for office, and my time in public service, I’ve always talked about second chances and redemption, and I still stand today as a firm believer in second chances and redemption," Stoney said.

At the time, the mayor was only aware of embezzlement charges Hammond faced.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District court, Steven Hammond Jr. admitted to stealing from an ABC program that receives federal funds.

Hammond worked for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as an Education Coordinator for its Youth Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Program or YADAPP.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring told CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown back in 2015, "he would arrange for others who were not providing any education services but getting checks written to them allegedly for education outreach programs but a portion of the money would go back to him."

At the time, Herring called this "a simple case of greed by someone who abused the public trust for his own benefit."

Facing up to 10 years behind bars, Hammond received no prison time.

He was sentenced to serve 240 hours of community service and three years of probation.

He was also ordered to pay $150 per month in an effort to pay back the $239,000 he took.

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