Richmond mayor hires ex-official convicted of embezzlement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond’s mayor has hired a former state official who was convicted of embezzling nearly $240,000.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Mayor Levar Stoney has hired Steven Hammond Jr. to serve as an executive assistant.

Hammond pleaded guilty in federal court in 2015 to stealing money designed for substance abuse education when he worked for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Stoney spokesman Jim Nolan says the mayor believes Hammond “deserves a second chance.” The newspaper was unable to reach Hammond for a comment.

Hammond had faced up to 10 years in prison, but was given community service and three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution. The judge said he was moved by Hammond’s apology for the crime.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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