Mayor In Westchester Seeks To Have Corruption Indictment Dismissed

Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas is seeking dismissal of an indictment claiming that he stole campaign funds and failed to disclose his use of inaugural funds during his initial run for office.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas. Photo Credit: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Office

Thomas was arraigned on felony corruption charges on March 12 that included grand larceny and filing a false instrument after being accused of stealing more than $10,000 from his campaign committee and lying about it on finance filing forms.

The mayor was scheduled to appear before a Westchester County grand jury last month, but failed to do so. According to a lohud report, Thomas failed to appear because he was challenging the case in state Supreme Court, who later denied the challenge. When Thomas didn’t appear, prosecutors said he lost his right to testify in front of the grand jury.

Now, Thomas reportedly filed a new motion to dismiss the indictment, stating that the Attorney General’s Office “could not pursue the case because the investigation was based on an improper referral from the state Comptroller.”

Thomas, 35, was the youngest mayor elected in Mount Vernon history in 2015, following on the heels of former Mayor Ernest Davis, who also found himself in the sights of law enforcement for various alleged incidents. Thomas has butted heads with several other elected officials during his tenure, including City Councilman Andre Wallace and recently ousted City Comptroller Maureen Walker.

Thomas’ administration has come under fire in recent months, with the incidents involving Walker and a $70,000 vehicle purchased for Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio that was “illegally and fraudulently” purchased. His brother, an employee with Mount Vernon’s DPW was also arrested last month with allegedly fake registration tags and marijuana.

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