PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Petersburg may hire an outside company to collect taxes, but one of the companies in the running has a connection to a former city manager who was fired by the city.
City Manager William Johnson III was fired by Petersburg City Council in February 2016 when the city’s financial troubles were starting to be uncovered. Seventeen months later, a company vying to take over collection of city taxes has a seemingly odd connection to Johnson.
Josh Rahman represents the Josh Rahman Group, one of two companies hoping to do collections for the City of Petersburg. The city has yet to make a decision.
“In our business, we’re in the business of finding people,” he said. “If you can’t locate somebody it’s pretty darn hard to collect from them.”
8News has learned Rahman is listed as the COO on the website for a Henrico-based company called Credit Adjustment Board.
Early Friday afternoon, Johnson’s LinkedIn page listed him as the Senior Vice President of Credit Adjustment for that same company.
Rahman told the Richmond Free Press in June of last year that Johnson had been appointed to engage in debt collection for local governments and that Johnson was “highly respected in the industry and has produced results everywhere he went.”
But once 8News began asking questions, that senior vice president role was removed from Johnson’s LinkedIn page. Shortly after, 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh received a phone call from Rahman saying that Johnson does not work for Credit Adjustment Board and never had before.
Before we asked about the LinkedIn page, Rahman said he had asked Johnson to remove the post. And as for the statement Rahman gave to the Richmond Free Press, Rahman said that he spoke prematurely when he made that announcement, saying they were in talks with Johnson but that nothing officially panned out.
Petersburg council members Mayor Sam Parham, Daren Hill, Howard Myers and Treska Wilson-Smith all told 8News they were not aware of the connection.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.