Has Byron Marshall’s collegiate past played a role in his resignation?

by | Oct 20, 2021 | COMMUNITY

Byron Marshall, Richmond City’s former Chief Accounting Officer, is stepping down, but this isn’t the first time he’s left an office under peculiar circumstances.


Byron Marshall, Richmond City’s former Chief Accounting Officer, is stepping down, but this isn’t the first time he’s left an office under peculiar circumstances.

A recent NBC 12 brief gives some details as to what we actually know about Marshall’s resignation (spoiler alert – pretty much nothing):

Ever since Marshall suddenly resigned from the job, very little information has been released about why he did. City leaders who wanted to know more had to sign a confidentiality agreement first. Now this lawsuit aims to get answers.

Almost every FOIA request from NBC12 about the resignation has been denied, with the city claiming it’s a personnel matter and restricted due to attorney-client privilege.

Now flash back to 1997 in Atlanta, GA. Marshal is the Chief Administrative Officer and responsible for the city’s day-to-day operations.

After a shake up around a city official lacking a masters degree (required for the post) a local reporter dug in his heals and noticed something similar about Marshal.

Turns out the then-CAO for Atlanta had attended Syracuse University, but hadn’t quite finished his program. He told the Atlanta Business Journal he had completed the program, except for two required course.

Details via ABJ:

“I filled out a document asking that the hours be transferred,” Marshall said. He added that he was looking for the document asking that the courses be credited to his undergraduate record, but had been unable to locate it.

But Kyle Wheelock, a registrar record-er at Syracuse, said, “He was admitted to the graduate program in anticipation of his undergraduate work being completed, but there is no indication [in his college transcripts] that he did that. There is nothing unusual there, except that he did not complete the degree.

“This person has neither a graduate nor an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University,” she said.

But a lack of degree wasn’t Marshall’s only public gaff. While on staff in Atlanta, he was also moonlighting as a consultant for the city of Austin, TX to the tune of $96K a year.

Again, via the ABJ

Chief Operating Officer Byron Marshall, the mayor’s top aide, tendered his resignation on July 3 [1997], two weeks after he publicly acknowledged being on the payroll of the city government in Austin, Texas, for which he previously worked.

Marshall, who had informed the mayor of his $96,000-per-year consulting agreement in January, said it wasn’t “unusual for people in [his] position” to do consulting on the side. But it is doubtful either he or the mayor can name one other full-time chief operating officer of a major American city who is simultaneously working part-time for another city.

The best thing you can say about Marshall’s moonlighting is that he exercised poor judgment. And the mayor displayed a lax attitude in permitting him, essentially, to serve two masters for as long as he did. [Atlanta Mayor] Campbell finally faced up to Marshall’s dilemma only after it became a political issue in his re-election campaign.

Was Marshall in similar hot water?

When he was hired in 2009, a release sent out from the city says Marshall has a “bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and has also completed more than half of the requirements for a master’s in public administration with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse.”

A job listing dated earlier this year for a Richmond city Deputy Chief Administrative Officer state’s the following educational requirement:

Notice it says graduate degree preferred, not required, however the deputy position would be lower than the actual Chief Administrative Officer.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner




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