Who doesn't dream of quitting a job but still getting paid? A mere flight of fancy for some, but a reality for former Richmond Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tara Dunlop.
Dunlop, who is the niece of Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody, left in March for a job with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., but has managed to bring home $28,096.98 from the Richmond Sheriff's Office since her departure, city finance records show.
Reached by telephone at her new job as a human resources management and training specialist for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security, Dunlop confirmed that “I am no longer” employed by the Richmond Sheriff's Office.
She says it's possible that she received a paycheck as recently as October, and that she has done “various assignments as needed” for her uncle's department.
Since Dunlop's departure, Maj. Jerry Baldwin and Lt. Col. Walter Allmon have shared media relations duties. Allmon, according to the office Web site, also oversees human resources for the sheriff's office.
The office's current spokesman, Baldwin initially was unaware of Dunlop's continued employment when contacted by Style, but later confirmed Dunlop has been working on-staff part time between March and Sept. 5. Since then, she has done contract work, though for the entire period since March, her duties have been on an “as needed basis,” Baldwin says. Among other things, Dunlap has been hired to write speeches and handle internal and external communications.
State Compensation Board records indicate that Dunlop's status changed to that of contract labor as of July, and that the sheriff's office was reimbursed for approximately $6,000 between July and September.
Terone Jackson, director of the city's Human Resources Department, says the city's computer system shows Dunlop as a current employee with Woody's office.
“They have to feed their information into our system, so I can't verify its accuracy,” Jackson says.
Woody rode into office in 2006 promising to end corruption and waste at the jail. Among the things for which he criticized his predecessor, Michelle Mitchell, was her propensity to hire family members.
In addition to Dunlop, Woody has hired several family members since taking office, including his son, Clarence T. Woody III.