Former Mount Vernon Mayor Applauds Move to Root Out Police Corruption
Maintains that He and Corporation Counsel Porcari Were Victims of
disgraced AG Eric Schniederman
MOUNT VERNON – May 2, 2021 — In reply to the news that Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah officially called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Mount Vernon Police Department for “pervasive and persistent alleged civil rights violations including unlawful strip searches, excessive use of force, and other misconduct,” former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas issued the following statement on April 30, 2021:
“I applaud Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah for urging the U.S. Department of Justice to act on Police corruption. When Lawrence Porcari and I brought issues and recordings of MVPD corruption to then Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, we were attacked and framed by powerful interests just like the victims we sought to protect in Mount Vernon,” he said.
“The People of Mount Vernon will benefit from the DOJ’s civil work and would benefit more if they expand their scope to include voter suppression by Local Democrats at the Westchester Board of Elections which is worse than the GOP’s new voting laws in Georgia,” stated Thomas.
BACKGROUND: Mayor Thomas believes that he was forced out of office by corrupt forces and an active conspiracy to conceal wrongdoing in Mount Vernon. The “recordings” he referenced are publicly available upon request. He describes the situation at length in testimony before the now scuttled Elections Reform Commission in September 2019 here. Below is a brief excerpt from the testimony:
What happened to me, at the hands of the State Attorney General’s Office is more dangerous to democracy than Russia and Facebook.
Eric Schneiderman, acting at someone’s urging, needed to create a criminal case against me as leverage to force me out of office and undo the results of the election. And that is why the SBOE had to be kept in the dark until it was too late.
I thought I would have a natural ally in the Attorney General and State Comptroller cleaning up corruption in Mount Vernon. That proved to be extremely naïve on my part. It took 11 months to finally get a meeting with them in 2016 regarding real crimes against taxpayers; however, they deny the meeting ever happened.
In a recent editorial, The Yonkers Tribune / The Mount Vernon Tribune wrote, “Former Mayor Richard Thomas was correct and continues to be exonerated by the consequences of an unchecked Comptroller in Mount Vernon. It certainly looks as if he was politically targeted for crusading to reform a corrupt City Hall and raising questions about Mount Vernon’s finances. Based on the IG report and NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s September 2020 audit of Mount Vernon, the Office of Comptroller wrongfully seized control of the Mount Vernon’s finances going back to 2016. The public was led to believe that former Mayor Thomas was the cause of turmoil; however, this has been proven not to be true. Old power struggles continue to manifest today through high property taxes, rampant potholes, chaos to the point of near fist fights between Mayor Patterson-Howard and Comptroller Reynolds at meetings, and the ridiculous amounts of grime littering Mount Vernon streets.”