It has been reported that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney agreed to pay a firm linked to one of his political donors $1.8 million to take down the Lee Statue on Monument Avenue last month.
The statue is still standing at the moment as there is a battle in court as a lawsuit was filed by a group of property owners along the prestigious residential street where the statue is located to prevent the removal. A motion to dismiss is being heard today.
According to documents the Stoney administration provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the city contracted with NAH LLC to remove Richmond’s Confederate iconography during ongoing civil unrest.
NAH LLC was created 10 days before Stoney ordered the statues’ removal and is a shell company linked to Team Henry Enterprises, a Newport News-based contracting firm owned by Devon Henry, who also happens to be a donor to the Mayor.
Stoney tweeted out a response to the report, saying that “When no one else would take the job, Devon Henry stood up… But he doesn’t just remove monuments – he builds new ones. His team built the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA. I’m proud of this Black-owned business.”
When no one else would take the job, Devon Henry stood up… But he doesn’t just remove monuments – he builds new ones. His team built the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA. I’m proud of this Black-owned business. https://t.co/YsOuet9hGF— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) August 18, 2020
Henry has donated $10,650 to advance Stoney’s career over the years, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, including $2,000 to Stoney’s 2016 election campaign and $2,000 to his One Richmond political action committee.
Jim Nolan, a Stoney spokesman, said, “Were it possible to pursue a traditional procurement, the mayor would have done so, but circumstances required him to pursue a different legal avenue and he chose to prioritize protecting lives and property over process. This decision was fully within his authority, and he stands by it.”
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