News Ticker

Could Firing of Commish Kelly Be Retribution From Mayor Thomas

thomas and kellyMount Vernon — They say it cost to be the boss. No one can relate to the age old adage more than Mount Vernon Mayor Richard W. Thomas, who has had one of the roughest and rockiest rides in the first 100 days in office, in the cities history. From a check scandal, to an all out Civil War with the Legislative Branch (City Council), to the arrest of two brothers and that’s just some of the turmoil the mayor has had to face in three and a half months. This week Mayor Thomas finds himself defending allegations that claim the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Robert ‘Bob’ Kelly was political retribution, a day after holding a press conference to address the termination of Kelly.

News 12’s Ty Milburn broke the story, Tuesday at the top of the 5 o’clock broadcast after exclusively obtaining documents that suggest Kelly was fired after he refused to rehire the mayor’s brother back to the fire department. Since every cable service provider does not carry News 12, we decided to share the video of the broadcast (below) so everyone can see it.

In a series of emails from city officials, in which the Mayor’s private email address is included, the city’s chief attorney, Lawrence Pocari, directs city officials to give Henry George Thomas his old job back, reported News 12.

On March 31, Pocari stated, “Thomas is going to be reinstated as of the date Jan. 7, 2016, and then he’s going out on full medical disability. This has to be done as soon as we can.”

When Robert Kelly caught wind of the secret plot he wrote a letter to the mayor saying in part, “The ethical lapse in failing to recognize the severity of the offenses committed by Mr. Thomas and the impact his reinstatement would have upon the legitimacy and credibility of city government and its leaders to govern is felonious.”

Kelly was fired a week later, just 90 days after Thomas hired him.

When we reached out to Mayor Thomas to comment on the story, he told BW, “From day one I have recused myself from the personnel matter pertaining to my relative. These matters were referred to independent, outside counsel and will continue to be handled in that fashion, external of the mayors office.”

Below are the chain of emails News 12 obtained and based their story on. BW will continue to follow this story, and inform the public and further details develop.


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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