MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Mount Vernon man claims he was targeted by local officials for his community activism after his car suspiciously caught fire on Friday.

WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reports Samuel Rivers said he woke up in his Mount Vernon home late Friday night to the sounds of fire trucks.

“I go to the front of my house to see my car fully engulfed in flames,” Rivers said.

Police called the fire suspicious. Rivers, who has a long history of challenging local officials on the ballot, in the courts and online, said he was targeted for exposing corruption.

“For a couple weeks, I’ve been getting threats from Mayor Thomas’ administration,” Rivers said.

A spokesman for Mayor Richard Thomas called the claims false and absurd.

The investigation into the car fire is ongoing.

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