After suddenly resigning as Hopewell's city manager, newly released emails reveal turmoil may have tainted the final days of Dr. Edwin Daley's six-year tenure.
In a Freedom of Information Act Request, the City of Hopewell disclosed nearly 300 pages of emails between Sept. 16, and Sept. 18. Daley resigned without warning Sept. 17, a decision the emails suggest, may not have been made willingly.
"I am terminated for real this time," reads an email sent from Daley to a Prince George County official Sept 18. "I'm looking for part time work or an interim position," reads another email sent later in the day.
Hopewell has never disclosed the reason for Daley's resignation, made during a closed door City Council meeting. But in an interview Monday, Daley said there were no incidents that prompted his departure.
"I turned 65, completed my 40 years [in municipal government] and have gone from there," Daley said. "We had a good time, we enjoyed it."
The emails also reveal Daley made extensive plans before his resignation to attend a conference in Boston. The gathering was sponsored by the International City/County Management Association, where Daley planned to discuss cultivating international connections with other municipal leaders.
Emails sent to Daley in the wake of his announcement also convey anger at Hopewell's City Council.
"You did not deserve that treatment," writes Kenneth McLawhon, city manager of Warrenton, Va. "I am sorry they weren't bigger than that and didn't wait until the end of the year or something more reasonable to transition smoothly."
In a phone interview Monday, Mayor Michael Bujakowski said Daley had been a progressive leader for the City, and he could not comment further.
"We had a great working relationship," Bujakowski said. "I would bounce ideas off of him all the time, but I don't think it would be proper for me to offer any other comment on the resignation."
Daley's duties officially ended Friday, Oct. 18, with Mark Haley now serving as acting city manager. Haley has served as Director of the Hopewell Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility for more than 34 years.
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