MOUNT VERNON, NY — June 7, 2018 — In an age of images and video, the most interesting events are playing out in print in New York State Supreme Court in the case of former disgraced Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Last week I questioned whether Schneiderman was a bully in the Court Room, and it turns out that he probably was the monster we are starting to hear about. Anonymous stories are surfacing about drunk nights, violent dates, car crashes, as well as posh Manhattan office space (allegedly rented below market) all reportedly covered by Schneiderman’s campaign funds.
Schneiderman’s reckless behavior in the bedroom was an abuse of power, and the latest court documents filed by Thomas strongly suggest that the “illegal prosecution” is another example of Schneiderman’s abuse of power.
Due process is an inalienable Constitutional right. We are meant to be free from illegal searches and seizures. The Legal Information Institute affirms that the central promise of “due process” is that all levels of American government must operate within the law and provide fair procedures. The opportunity to face accusers in the Court of law is supposed to be protected; however, the ghost of Schneiderman appears to be trying Thomas in the Court of Public Opinion while holding him to a “second set” of rules.
The latest story in the Journal News trivializes the situation as if Thomas is making a desperate excuse to avoid prosecution… almost suggesting that he deserved to be illegally targeted. The clear bias is infecting the public to assume that Thomas is in the wrong, when in fact the court filings tell us of a much deeper, darker threat to our democracy – lawless abuses of power and the disregard for Thomas’ Constitutional rights by disgraced former Attorney General Schneiderman.
If Thomas’ representations are the facts, then the abandonment of law and order by the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is terrifying. Our Constitution requires due process and there is nothing in the law that says any person, or prosecutor, can take away this inalienable right. The record shows that Thomas’ attorneys attempted to have the Manhattan Judge rule on the matter immediately, but the AG’s office asked for more time, delaying the Judge’s decision on whether the AG’s office had authority – which it ruled that “it did not have the power.” The court asked the OAG to not indict Mayor Thomas before it could rule and “defense counsel explicitly wrote the Attorney General’s Office that Mayor Thomas was not waiving his right to testify before the grand jury, but would not testify before the Supreme Court ruled on the emergency motion.” Yet, according to the filing, “The Attorney General’s decision to convene the Grand Jury while Mayor Thomas’ emergency motion was pending is precisely the gamesmanship that courts have found improper,” said Thomas’ attorney. It appears that the OAG’s office knew that if they lost the Article 78 petition, then their entire effort to prosecute Mayor Thomas would have been shut down. Perhaps, this is why the OAG went ahead to get an indictment despite their duty to wait for the Manhattan Court to rule?
If this is the case, then does this means that the OAG will break rules or make up their own rules simply to make innocent people guilty for crime-less crimes? You often hear about these types of conspiracies in Western Europe, not Westchester. Maybe I am being too naïve? Maybe I am not?
What we know is history is replete with examples of the powerful attacking the powerless. Had it not been for the courage of a few reporters capturing “images and video” of Freedom Riders being beaten with bicycle chains, baseball bats, and brass knuckles, it would have been hard to prove that the system protected the racist aggressors from prosecution.
The legal lynching of Mayor Thomas is becoming easier to see and harder to ignore. Years of corruption have been uncovered by the young Mayor Thomas, and years of political relationships are apparently at work to (wrongfully) shift blame to Thomas so as to suppress how sinister things really are in Mount Vernon. It is hard to believe that we are watching an illegal investigation trample on Constitutional rights for the sake of obtaining an illegal indictment to continue an illegal prosecution against a young Mayor who has challenged an entrenched political establishment for the good of all people in his city.
One is left to wonder will we be (illegally targeted) next? Hopefully justice will remain blind and the judges will not succumb to the backroom politics besieging Mount Vernon City Hall. Based on the latest court filing, hopefully the judges will resist the deplorable party politics and hold the OAG accountable for their purported violations of state and Constitutional law.