RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One of three directors of a corporation that donated tens of thousands of dollars to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s reelection campaign is also listed as an Urban ONE Casino + Resort investor.
According to the ONE Casino + Resort webpage, Greg Cummings was one of 50 people to invest in proposed casino. Cummings is listed by the State Corporation Commission as one of the directors for the Black Opportunity Council.
The council, a registered nonstock corporation, was created in September and according to its website, represents “Black entrepreneurs, industry leaders, advocates, clergy, and educators committed to social and economic justice.”
According to the Virginia Department of Elections, the Black Opportunity Council donated $20,000 to Stoney’s campaign in October 2020.
Urban ONE does not list how much each casino investor has committed to the project or when their investments were made.
8News first reported last week that several of Stoney’s donors were also investors in Urban ONE’s casino project, and the Richmond Times Dispatch identified the connection between Cummings and the Black Opportunity Council. A representative for Urban ONE told 8News that some of the investors committed support for the project before Stoney recommended it to city council.
Urban ONE was one of three finalists being considered by a casino evaluation panel.
Other Stoney donors also listed as investors include Samuel Young, Devon Henry, Carlos Brown and Ed McCoy.
When asked about the overlap Stoney said, “Am I surprised? No. I have had supporters and donors on both sides, whether it was with ONE or whether it was LIVE! Or, but, on all those sides, all those who were competing to have the project here in the city. I’m sure there are many of those who consider themselves donors or supporters of mine on all those sides.”
The Cordish Companies, the developer of the LIVE! casino proposal, denied making donations to Stoney or other members of city council.
Urban ONE CEO Alfred Liggins has contributed to existing and potential members of Virginia’s legislative black caucus, including Richmond City Councilman Mike Jones during his bid for the Virginia House of Delegates.
8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher, Ph.D., said that the connection between Stoney donors and Urban ONE Casino investors may cause people to “doubt the process a little more than they otherwise might.”
City Council still has to vote to put the Urban ONE Casino + Resort project on the ballot in November.