Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas pleads guilty, will resign

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Following a series of major controversies in both the Thomas campaign and the Thomas administration, State Attorney General Letitia James and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today that Thomas will plead guilty. According to a release from the New York State Attorney General’s office, he stood accused of stealing campaign funds and lying about the funds in a discolsure to the State Board of Elections.

As part of the plea, he will be levied a $13,000 fine, as well as a one year conditional discharge. During the conditional discharge, he will be prohibited from seeking or accepting any elected or appointed offices or accept a position as a public servant, according to the release.

“By using campaign funds to line his own pockets, Thomas broke the law, and violated public trust,” said Attorney General James in the release. “New Yorkers put their faith in our public servants, and Thomas’ gross violation of that faith constitutes the utmost disloyalty to those he was sworn to serve. My office will continue to root out public corruption, uphold the integrity of public office, and bring bad actors to justice at every level of government throughout New York.”

Per the release, he pled guilty to charges of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree, both Class A misdemeanors. The investigation was conducted by the NYS Office of the Attorney General and the NYS Office of the Comptroller.

This resignation and plea follow, among other issues, a multi-week debate with the people and leadership of Pelham Manor. Manor residents complained about a significant amount of noise after a concert in Mount Vernon. Thomas held a call with Pelham Manor Mayor Jennifer Monachino-Lapey, and invited a Pelham Examiner reporter onto the call.

As well, Thomas lost his attempted re-election in the primary process. Shawyn Patterson-Howard was the victor of the primary, but Thomas contested that result. This past week, he filed a suit, naming his opposing candidates as well as several commissioners on the Westchester Board of Elections.

Mayor Thomas’ resignation will be effective September 30 of this year. City Council President Andre Wallace, 4th place finisher in the Democratic primary, is in line to be Acting Mayor until the election.