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Mount Vernon City Council Orders Richard Thomas To Leave Mayor's Office Within 24 Hours

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas. Photo Credit: Attorney General's Office
Andre Wallace Photo Credit: Facebook
Mount Vernon City Hall. Photo Credit: File

Mount Vernon Mayor Thomas may be out of office sooner than expected as the City Council is forcing him to leave his post after his criminal convictions earlier this week.

On Monday, July 8, Thomas pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanor charges and agreed to resign from his office as of Monday, Sept. 30.

However, in a surprising move, on Wednesday, July 10, the Mount Vernon City Council unanimously voted on legislation to remove Thomas from office and swore in his successor, City Council President Andre Wallace, as the interim mayor, while Councilwoman Janice Duarte became the council president.

Citing a section of the city council that calls for elected officials to vacate their office if convicted of a crime, the council also passed resolutions authorizing the city comptroller to stop paying Thomas’ salary, and he was ordered to turn over any city property that he possesses.

Thomas, calling the move a coup d’etat, has vowed to fight, stating that he is going to head to City Hall on Thursday as if it was a regular workday.

"The City Council’s illegal coup d’etat confirms there is an organized effort to undermine democracy in Mount Vernon and hide the truth about the 'undocumented' $95 million in loans by past administrations,” he said in a statement. ”These are the same people that won’t vote for garbage trucks nor toilet paper for seniors, yet they illegally anoint themselves as mayor. Get ready for another waste of time and money on unnecessary litigation.”

Wallace is expected to take office on Friday, July 12, and will be in office through the end of the year. Running on the Republican line, he will square off against Democratic primary victor Shawyn Patterson-Howard in November, who is expected to win due to the Democratic majority of the city’s registered voters.

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