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.
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.
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.