Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has hired an executive assistant who was convicted in 2015 of embezzling $240,000 from the state. The intended use of the money was an educational program on substance abuse. Steven Hammond Jr. embezzled the money while he was a program coordinator for the Virginia’s department of Alcohol Beverage Control. He plead guilty to the theft that began in 2009 and continued until 2013. He had written checks to friends who then shared their bounty.
Hammond could have faced up to ten years in prison but Judge John A. Gibney Jr. was impressed by Hammond’s statements of regret. The Judge sentenced him to only 3 years probation, 240 hours of community service and payments of $150 a month.
Mayor Stoney said he hired Hammond because he “believes in redemption.”
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
“The mayor has worked throughout his public service career to advance the idea of restorative justice, and Steve’s hiring demonstrates that he practices what he preaches,” Stoney’s press secretary, Jim Nolan, said in a statement. “Steve deserves a second chance.”
Who will Mayor Stoney hire next? Joe Morrissey?