City Council Considers Naming Street After Former Member Convicted of Heroin Charges

Chuck Richardson served on Richmond City Council for almost two decades, but his career was surrounded by heroin addiction and arrests.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A former Richmond council member convicted on heroin charges could get a street named after him.

The 800 block of Blanton Avenue may soon have a sign with the name Henry “Chuck” Richardson.

“It’s flattering, and I’m honored, and feel privileged to have people feel that way,” said Richardson from his home.

Mayor Jones is proposing an ordinance to honor Richardson as well as four other former members, who together made the first five African American Majority on council.

Others include Henry L. Marsh, III, Willie J. Dell, Walter T. Kenney and Dr. Claudette Black McDaniel.

Also in the plan– renaming the Manchester Courthouse, located at 920 Hull Street, as the “Henry L. Marsh, III, and Harold M. Marsh, Sr., Manchester Courthouse.

“We all seek to make some kind of contribution for the short time that we’re here on earth,” said Richardson.

Among his contributions—bringing the Arthur Ashe statue to Monument Avenue, creating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the city’s first minority business utilization plan.

“This is the capitol, this is where a lot of things happened that were negative things, so I think honoring these people and the good things that they’ve done, gives us a start on some positive,” said Councilwoman Michelle Mosby

But Richardson’s time in office was scarred by controversy.

“None of us are perfect.”

In 1995, Richardson was arrested for distributing heroin and served almost two years in prison.

He was arrested again in 2004, charged with heroin possession, but was acquitted by a jury.

“We make mistakes, and we fall down. But I think the record of achievements, they speak for themselves,” he said.

At least one council member says she doesn’t support the street name changes. City council will vote after a public hearing January 26 at 6 pm.

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