Jonathan GordonMay 25, 2018, 2:41 pm

Mount Vernon mayor arraigned in court

Richard Thomas pledges not guilty to 8 accounts of alleged corruption, illegal use of campaign funds

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WHITE PLAINS – Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas was arraigned on Friday in Westchester County Court. Thomas pleaded not guilty to eight charges of alleged corruption and illegal use of campaign funds. Thomas is being charged with three counts of third-degree grand larceny, one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree filing a false instrument, and two counts of second-degree filing a false instrument.

After his arraignment, Thomas was joined by dozens of his supporters and claimed his innocence.

"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.

Prosecutors from the state attorney general's office accused the mayor of stealing nearly $13,000 from his political campaign fund and not disclosing around $45,000 he got from his inaugural committee.

The case against Thomas was originally prosecuted by former Attorney General Eric Schneider man and is now being followed up by new Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Thomas' attorney is arguing that the attorney general’s office does not have the power to investigate this case because Underwood was voted in after the charges were handed down.

"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.

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