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Former Acting Fire Commissioner Ernest Richardson Talks About Lawsuit Against City of Mount Vernon

"I had to bring this lawsuit because I'm not going to hope they leave me alone, I a man, I have to make them leave me alone."

Mount Vernon Firefighter Union President Ernest Richardson endorsing Richard Thomas for Mayor in front of Mt Vernon Fire Headquarters, 470 E Lincoln Ave, August 2015 [Black Westchester]

Former Acting Fire Commissioner and former president of the firefighter’s union Ernest Richardson stopped by the People Before Politics Radio Show, Sunday, March 31st to talk about his pending lawsuit against the city of Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Fire Department, Mayor Richard Thomas, and two superiors, Captain Michael St. John and Chief Al-Farid Salahuddin and others. Accusing them of retaliating against him for not supporting the rehiring of the mayor’s older brother Henry George Thomas after he was convicted on federal gun charges.

In the interview, Richardson says in addition to the pressure to reinstate the mayor’s brother, he has been targeted because he opposed Thomas’ effort to make what Richardson considered a race-based promotion by initially delaying a white captain’s bid to become deputy chief.

Richardson claims he was subject to repeated harassment by a pair of superiors he calls “ethical disasters” for the department, Capt. Michael St. John and Chief Al-Farid Salahuddin, lohud reported.

This is Richardson first interview since filing the lawsuit. Watch the full Black Westchester exclusive interview below.

In the lawsuit (see below), Richardson, a 16-year veteran of the department, cites a pattern of harassment that forced him to resign as commissioner after just eight months. He claims the abuse never stopped once he returned to Station 2 as a firefighter. 

Ernest Richardson Lawsuit by BLACK WESTCHESTER on Scribd

Up to this point, Richardson turned down several invitations to be interviewed, perferring to handle the matter without talking about the Mayor and others in the press tells Black Westchester, the retaliation has gotten to a point where he turned to the media and filed the lawsuit as a last resort.

“I had to bring this lawsuit because I’m not going to hope they leave me alone, I a man, I have to make them leave me alone,” Richardson tells Black Westchester when asked why is bringing this lawsuit now.

After the show, the mayor’s brother Henry-George contacted a member of PBP Radio complaining Richardson was not telling the entire truth but turned down an invitation to appear on the show.


About AJ Woodson (2394 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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