“Baby Wilder” may be shopping for a new political alliance.
Harry Black, the man responsible for orchestrating then-Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's infamous 2007 attempt to evict the Richmond School Board offices from City Hall, attended a reported $500-a-plate fundraiser for Mayor Dwight C. Jones last week at Shockoe Bottom steakhouse Sensi.
The night's host was the former chairman of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority board, Brian K. Jackson, according to staff at Sensi. At least 20 people were seen walking into the restaurant, which was closed for the June 17 event.
Jackson now works as vice president and general counsel for Ukrop's Super Markets. Neither he nor Black returned calls from Style Weekly. Mayor Jones confirmed that he attended the event.
Jones spent $460,361 on his campaign for mayor, according to records with the Virginia Public Access Project. As of Dec. 31, according to the most recent records available with the project, Jones' mayoral campaign committee had $9,206 on hand.
Black, who served as Wilder's chief financial officer, is working as a consultant for the housing authority in its effort to seek stimulus money from the federal government. Black is a part-time senior adviser to B&D Consulting, based in Washington. His own consulting company, Global Commerce Solutions, had sought to represent the city in seeking stimulus funds.
A woman answering the phone at Sensi the afternoon of June 17 confirmed that the restaurant would be closed to diners for the fundraiser. A staff member questioned by Style while he dusted a nude Roman-style statue in the restaurant lobby said “Brian Jackson and others” were sponsoring the event, and that Black may be involved.
If Black were more than a guest, he didn't arrive before most. He showed up for the 6 p.m. event at 6:30, exiting his car with a woman who accompanied him into the restaurant. Asked if he were a co-sponsor of the fundraiser, Black said, “No, just having dinner with a friend,” before briskly escorting his companion into the restaurant.