He is the one who becomes a link between the townsfolk and the local raider gang, keeping the both sides at least partially satisfied. Raiders get the slaves and supplies they need, while citizens mostly remain alive. When the player character arrives, he begin to despise the mayor's activities.
Later, the mayor decides to help the raiders to kill the player, who had recently defeated a group of them in the bar. In doing so, Richard hoped raiders will spare the citizens, and the things will generally remains the same. Richard knew the Initiate (player character) was looking for Brotherhood paladins, so he lied they were going into Carbon crater.
When the Initiate made it to the bottom of the crater, Richard already awaited him here, along with a bunch of raiders. Despite the raiders aid and great amount of explosives Richard used against the Initiate, he was ultimately shot. While dying, all the explosives he still had in his pockets detonated, blowing him to pieces and triggering the crater to start collapsing.
Despite Richard's attempts to protect Carbon by killing the Initiate, the raiders ignored him and attacked the town.