Mount Vernon — Mayor Richard W. Thomas vigorously turned down a plea deal, Friday, in
Westchester County Supreme Court, that would have kept him out of jail. Jury selection is scheduled to begin July 8th.
“I’m walking out on faith and not by sight. I believe in God and believe in everything I’ve done up to this date has been legal, ethical and moral,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. “At the end of the day I’m a young man with a young family and they can’t see the difference between someone doing the right thing and trying to cover up for someone in the past.”
Mayor Thomas was arrested and arraigned, March 12, 2018, and indicted by a grand jury, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, on charges – by the New York State Attorney General’s office – that he stole campaign funds and failed to disclose his receipt of inaugural funds that he used for personal expenses.
When asked by reporters about turning down the plea deal, the mayor responded; “Look this has been the hardest decisions of my life.” Then the mayor described his prosecution as a “Rich Hunt,” saying he is a Whistle-blower.
“I just wan to be very clear, I blew the whistle on millions of dollars being stolen by the previous administration [Mayor Ernest D. Davis] in 2016.”
“Today is the last day,” state Supreme Court Justice Barry Warhit informed Thomas. “Mr. Thomas this is a very important decision.”
“I have faith in the system, your honor,” Thomas told the judge. “I’m proceeding to trial.”
Judge Warhit then scheduled jury selection for July 8. just under two weeks after the June 25th Democratic primary in which Thomas will face Council President André Wallace, Shawyn Patterson-Howard and Clyde Isley in his bid for a second term in office.
BW Court Correspondent Brenda L. Crump contributed to this story and shot the video outside the courthouse. Mayor Thomas walked off and refused to answer any further questions from BW.