White Plains – Mount Vernon Mayor Richard W. Thomas pleaded not guilty in the Richard J. Baronco Westchester County Courthouse (111 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd) to an 8-count indictment charging him with grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing, on Friday.
Surrounded by his attorney Randall Jackson, his wife Cherish, several siblings and over two dozen other supporters which included several city of Mount Vernon employees.
Mayor Thomas maintained his innocence, saying he would be vindicated. He thanked his supporters and encouraged the youth who have a desire to run for office to never let anyone stop them or get in their way.
“I understood that there was going to be challenges along this way but my faith will never waiver and I’m just going to keep it in God’s hands. We’ll let my attorneys, I have full confidence that they’re going to make sure that the facts get out and we’ll be vindicated and we can move Mount Vernon forward,” Thomas said.
He was indicted by a Westchester County Grand Jury Wednesday, May 16th on charges that he stole campaign funds and failed to disclose his receipt of inaugural funds that he used for personal expenses.
The ruling led some Mount Vernon clergy members to urge the Attorney General to forego prosecution and pursue an “alternative resolution” to the case.
Mayor Thomas and his attorney focus continues to be getting the charges dismissed as they challenge the authority of the New York State Attorney General’s Office to bring them in the first place. the judge gave Thomas five days to file the motion.
“The attorney general’s office has been operating outside of the scope of its jurisdiction and we intend to press that issue in this court and we’re looking forward to addressing that issue and the other serious problems with this case before the courts,” Thomas’s attorney Randall Jackson said.
Thomas’ next court appearance will be on July 20 in front of Judge Larry Schwartz.