Author

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]

COMMENTARY

‘I was in a gang. It’s called the police.’ It’s time to change American policing.

By: - June 10, 2020

At the time, I laughed. Nearly 13 years later, amid the protests convulsing American cities over police brutality and racism, it doesn’t seem like a joke. I was writing profiles of the candidates vying to replace a longtime south Louisiana sheriff and Godfrey “Doc” Buquet, a retired chief of detectives who looked more than a […]

Protests over George Floyd’s death spread to Virginia

By: and - May 30, 2020

Protesters in Richmond and Hampton Roads blocked highways and started fires Friday night as unrest that has gripped the country following the death of George Floyd during his arrest by police in Minnesota spread to Virginia. In Richmond, at least one car, a Dumpster and a GRTC Pulse bus were set afire. Protests continued in […]

COMMENTARY

Fix FOIA: The pandemic is throwing Virginia’s public records shortcomings into stark relief

By: - May 15, 2020

Last month, as it was becoming apparent that Virginia was lagging other states in testing capacity and struggling to procure enough protective gear for long-term care facilities, first responders and hospitals, Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration announced it had reached a deal with global consulting firm McKinsey and Company to shore up those aspects of the […]

COMMENTARY

The spiteful horns of the unhelpful

By: - April 23, 2020

They came. They honked. They went. A few hundred protesters, in a demonstration that appears to be linked to a conservative push to make some political hay out of stay-at-home orders and social distancing shutdowns and egged on by cynical Virginia politicians and President Donald Trump, cruised around the Virginia Capitol Wednesday, laying on their […]

Lawmakers delay minimum wage, maintain election schedule in extraordinary session

By: , and - April 23, 2020

Protesters in cars honked endlessly as they circled the Capitol. The Speaker of the House collapsed on the dais as she led a floor session. A lawmaker cast votes from a Plexiglas enclosure. The typically sleepy reconvened session of the Virginia General Assembly on Thursday fully reflected the bizarre world into which we’ve all been […]

Gallery: Images from a reconvened session like no other as lawmakers return to Richmond

By: - April 22, 2020

Lawmakers were back in Richmond Wednesday for the reconvened, or veto, session, when they act on gubernatorial vetoes and amendments. But, given the pandemic, it was one like no other, drawing right wing protesters opposed to Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order and other social distancing restrictions. To keep be able to keep their own distance […]

Virginia Mercury

Student sues Liberty over pandemic response, racial disparities in Richmond COVID-19 cases, Zoom classes at Tech, and more headlines

By: - April 15, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The outbreak at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare in Richmond has become the deadliest in the nation at a longterm care facility, per an analysis by The New York Times.—The New York Times • In Richmond, more than two times as many black people […]

COMMENTARY

Adventures in social distancing

By: - April 15, 2020

The sales clerk craned her neck to the right, squinting as she peered past about a hundred yards of aisles. “I see a pallet back there. You should probably go check it out,” she said. Standing six feet away on a large red circle (a social distancing aid) installed on the floor, I had asked, […]

COMMENTARY

In a maelstrom of mistakes, failing to learn from this pandemic would be the gravest error

By: - March 30, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about an interview I did on a bleak day in December of 2016 in Buchanan County. In the gravel lot of a maintenance yard for coal-bed methane machinery, a 68-year-old heavy equipment operator was showing me his truck — festooned with Trump and “Hillary for Prison” stickers — for […]

Virginia Mercury

Distillers switch to sanitizer, gun sales soar, new drive-thru COVID-19 testing and more headlines

By: - March 21, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • “Working from home in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak is not an option for first responders.”  — The Free Lance-Star • Silverback Distillery, owned by Christine Riggleman, wife of U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, is the latest distillery to switch to hand […]

The State Corporation Commission

Rate review bill lands on Senate committee docket with little time to spare

By: - February 28, 2020

A much-watched bill that would restore the ability of the State Corporation Commission to review Dominion Energy’s base rates has been placed on the docket for the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee’s Monday meeting. The bipartisan legislation by Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, and Del. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, cleared the House on a 77-23 vote but […]

COMMENTARY

On one powerful Senate committee, elections definitely have consequences

By: - February 27, 2020

Back in 2018, as Dominion Energy was pushing its contentious Grid Transformation and Security Act through the General Assembly, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee was debating whether the legislation allowed a “double dip” — that is, billing ratepayers twice for hundreds of millions in new utility spending contemplated by the law. Sen. Dick Saslaw, […]