Most Feared Public Servant 

Umesh Dalal

Critics' Pick

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

If you work for Richmond, the last person you want appearing at your doorstep is an emissary from the office of City Auditor Umesh Dalal.

Surf the city auditor’s official website ( to survey the damage his office hath recently wrought: An April audit implicates 11 Public Works and Public Utilities workers in a scam to defraud the city of nearly $13,000 in false overtime claims. Nine were just slapped with criminal fraud charges. Remember the hubbub over that $37,000 desk? Dalal.

In a town that hates transparency, Dalal pulls back the curtains. And in a town that’s losing its rabble-rousers at an alarming clip (think Rachel Flynn, John Lewis) he just might be City Hall’s saving grace.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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