The newspaper also quotes Betty Burrell, the city’s director of procurement, as saying that the Mayor executed the contract in compliance with state law that permits the local director of emergency management to forgo “time-consuming procedures or formalities” when awarding contracts during an emergency. Under policy established by the City Council, the mayor is Richmond’s director of emergency management.

At Stoney’s request, Governor Ralph Northam extended Richmond’s local emergency order, set to expire at the end of June. Stoney signed the contract with NAH July 1.

Nolan said that the city “reached out to many vendors” but most requests were ignored or immediately rejected. “NAH was the only one willing to take on the job.” NAH hired an out-of-state contractor, Smedley Crane & Rigging, to do the work.