MOUNT VERNON (CBSNewYork) — Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas was arraigned on criminal charges Monday as part of a corruption probe by the New York State Attorney General’s Office into campaign finance irregularities.
Thomas, 35, is accused of stealing more than $12,000 from his campaign committee “Friends Of Richard Thomas” and then lying about it, as well as failing to report money he received from individuals which was used to pay off credit card debts and his own expenses.
The mayor surrendered at the county jail Monday morning and faces charges of third-degree larceny and filing false information. He has plead not guilty and was free without bail.
“I have great confidence in our legal system, and I have no doubt we will be able to prove our full compliance with the letter, ethics and spirit of the law,” said Thomas in a news conference arranged to proclaim his innocence.
Thomas is due back in court May 1, 2018.
In 2015, Thomas was elected as the youngest serving mayor in the City of Mount Vernon. In 2016, he encouraged the public to post social media photos of potholes in Mount Vernon streets in an effort to document areas of greatest need.