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Update: City Council to Reject Harry Black


Richmond City Council is poised to vote no to Harry E. Black, Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's appointee as interim Chief Administrative Officer.

At Wilder's request, City Council delayed its vote on Black at Monday's City Council Meeting, tabling the issue until Friday afternoon. Wilder named Black his interim CAO in the wake of former CAO William Harrell's departure earlier this year. According to the city charter, City Council must approve Wilder's appointment before the CAO can legally take the reins of city government.

Six of the nine Council members are prepared to vote against Black, sources tell Style.

"The [city] charter set out a number of specific criteria for significant operations experience," says City Council President William J. Pantele. "In reviewing his background and experience, we didn't see that he met those requirements."

The Chief Administrative Officer oversees the daily activities of the city's 35 departments, including public utilities, the Richmond Police Department, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Social Services.

Wilder named Black as his interim CAO shortly after Harrell accepted a job as city manager in Chesapeake this spring.

While acting CAO, Black has maintained his earlier roll as chief financial officer.

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