Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas vehemently denied any wrongdoing after being arraigned on corruption charges on Monday.
During a brief press conference outside Mount Vernon City Hall on Monday, Thomas denied any allegations after being accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars in funds from his campaign committee.
“The allegations are not true, and I want to reassure the people of Mount Vernon that this has nothing to do with my service in office, as it relates to the campaign,” he said. “I have great confidence in our legal system and I have no doubt that we will be able to prove our full compliance with the letter ethics and spirit of the law.”
The mayor noted that he “will not allow this process to distract me from my services and duties as mayor. I expect to be fully vindicated.”
Thomas was arraigned on a felony charge of 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. He reportedly also used finances from his campaign to pay for personal expenses. He is expected to be arraigned in Mount Vernon City Court on Monday.
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.
The arrest comes days before Thomas was scheduled to deliver the annual “State of the City” address on Thursday, March 15 at the Wartburg.
Thomas’ administration has come under fire in recent months, with the most recent incident involving Walker and a $70,000 vehicle purchased for Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio that was “illegally and fraudulently” purchased.
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