WHITE PLAINS, NY (July 6, 2015) – Mount Vernon City Councilman Richard Thomas submitted correspondence, following up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Monday to fulfill his obligation to remove Ernest Davis from the Office of Mayor of Mt. Vernon, NY, based on Davis’ October 2014 guilty plea to two federal crimes pertaining to his personal income taxes.
Thomas, a mayoral candidate for Mayor of Mount Vernon, held a press conference on June 9, calling on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to act in this matter.
According to Mt. Vernon City Charter Article IV, Section 25, it reads as follows:
“Any officer or employee who willfully violates or evades any provision of law, or of this chapter, or by culpable neglect of duty allows any public property to be lost to the City, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition to the penalties imposed by law, shall on conviction forfeit his office or employment.”
Lohud reported: embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis defiantly rejected calls for his resignation hours after pleading guilty to federal charges that he willfully failed to file personal and corporate income tax returns.
Davis has continued to publicly reject the notion he should step down, stating he and his lawyers have gone through the charter with a fine-tooth-comb including in the recent Sunday morning interview on Fios1 News’ NewsBreakers with Andrew Whitman.
A column by Phil Reisman in the Journal News highlighted that, “It’s very, very clear and unambiguous,” on Ernest Davis having a problem and defying the City Charter to cling to Office of Mayor of Mt. Vernon.
Councilman Thomas was quoted saying, “It’s like fouling out of the game, but [Davis] still says, ‘No, I’m going to keep playing,’ You know, LeBron James gets six fouls and he’s out of the game.”
Critics have even questioned with Davis being on probation, and questions about his legitimacy to still hold the office, why Democratic chair Reginald Lafayette would choose Davis to represent the party as their mayoral nominee.
As you can see below the letter has been “RECEIVED” by the “NYS Office of the Attorney General, Westchester Regional Office.”
On October 14, 2014, Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns.
Under the Mount Vernon City Charter, a city official who is convicted of a crime forfeits his or her office.
Mount Vernon City Charter Article IV, § 25, is broader than state law, which provides for forfeiture of office only upon a felony conviction.
Thus, by the terms of the Mount Vernon City Charter, Mayor Davis ceased to be the Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon on October 14, 2014.
The Attorney General as per his website, is obligated to uphold the laws of the State of New York. The Mount Vernon City Charter is state law. L.1922, c. 420.
“The Attorney General must bring a proceeding under the election law to establish that Mayor Davis is no longer the Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon,” Councilman Thomas tell BW. “Our nation was founded on the idea that no one is above the law. The Attorney General has an obligation to make this sacred notion clear by removing Ernest Davis as Mayor of Mt. Vernon given his guilty plea and violation of the City Charter.”
He concluded, “The AG’s removal of Davis will help 70,000 people in the great City of Mt. Vernon know that their voice has been heard and that everyone has equal treatment under the law.”
The AG’s office would not comment, neither confirming or denying there is an investigation ongoing. All they would tell BW is they have received the demand letter from Thomas.
Stay tuned to BW in the developing story!