Westchester County Judge Barry Warhit in a 19 page decision, dismissed a novel argument by attorney Randall Jackson to have all charges including the grand larceny charges thrown out using what some legal experts call a Hail Mary. The judge claims the DA didn’t violate any of Thomas’ rights to testify, according to a Journal News report.
Thomas is charged with allegedly lying on his 2016 annual statement of financial disclosure with the City of Mount Vernon and using his campaign funds to as a “Personal Slush Fund” that included paying rent for his family residence, loans, and a payment for three automobile insurance policies for two vehicles on which Thomas was listed as the owner, and another vehicle registered to one of Thomas’ relatives according to local news reports. He also bought meals on a family vacation after the election that he allegedly charged to his campaign credit card.
Thomas is accused of failing to report on his state election filings the money he used for personal expenses. He is also accused of failing to report on his city ethics forms more than $75,000 he received from the Richard Thomas Inaugural Committee, campaign adviser Joseph Spiezio – who is an unindicted co-conspirator – and other individuals.
Judge Warhit was clear in his ruling (see entire document below) and said this –
“It is worthy of comment that the prosecutorial authority conveyed upon the OAG by the Comptroller’s written request dated April 27, 2016 is valid despite the fact that the OAG had previously investigated certain complaints concerning Defendant and irregularities related to expenditures and fund-raising by his campaign committee,” .
As for the Office of Attorney General not in the position to charge the mayor…
I stand corrected – Mayor Thomas could have testified before the grand jury and he had plenty of time according to judge Warhit. He ruled that prosecutors had given Thomas reasonable opportunity to testify and that they weren’t required to delay the grand jury due to the civil case.
“Despite Defendant’s urging, the facts of this case do not support findings of prosecutorial gamesmanship or that the OAG failed to afford Defendant a reasonable time to exercise his right to appear as a witness,”
Randall Jackson, who Thomas’ media office referred questions to, declined to comment.
While I admire the mayor’s innovative focus and his attempts to put his agenda above his dirty laundry, taking him seriously became a challenge following news of the Kela. It’s hard to trust a person, even if they have great plans for the city, knowing this is the same man who is on trial for theft and lying to the government.
The court saw through these groundless motions filed by the mayor. No community should ever have to experience what he has put the City of Mount Vernon through.
Mayor Thomas continues to vilify members of the community by trying to frighten the public into thinking that their taxes is going to go up over 200%. A City Hall insider tells BW, the DPW commissioner is now upset with the Thomas. Mayor Thomas we are told wanted to fire a worker because he was getting to close with a council member over the road pavement project. The DPW employees staged a sick-out, Tuesday, September 4th. No word if the sick-out was a one day push back against the mayor’s retaliatory rule.
Thomas who remains free without bail since his arrest and arraignment in March, is due back in court on Sept. 14.