MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Officials are trying to get to the bottom of an alleged case of snow plow sabotage.
Mayor Richard Thomas said it was part of an ongoing effort to discredit his administration, but his political rivals aren’t having it, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, it was not all hearts and flowers in Mount Vernon, where the toxic political climate may have a connection to vandalism at the Department of Public Works.
“There’s someone out there that is deliberately trying stop the progress that we are making for the people of Mount Vernon,” Mayor Thomas said Tuesday.
Thomas said it was part of an ongoing campaign to sabotage his administration.
Gloves were stuffed into the fuel tanks of 13 snow plows and 16 garbage trucks right before Tuesday’s storm.
Fishing them out took precious hours that could have been spent cleaning city streets.
“This is directly attacking me for serving the people of Mount Vernon,” Thomas said.
City Council President Andre Wallace disagreed.
“There is nobody out to get the mayor, and I don’t understand where this is coming from,” Wallace said.
Wallace is the mayor’s main political rival. He said it defies belief that someone could sneak into a secured facility, target only diesel trucks and not get caught in the act.
“It was somebody, cleverly, who knows what they’re doing, and I’m sure it was an inside job,” Wallace said.
Mayor Thomas faces a tough re-election race this year. He’s under indictment for allegedly misusing campaign and inaugural committee funds from his election in 2015.
Wallace is asking the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office to take over the investigation into the vandalism, so it’s removed from any influence by City Hall.
The DA’s office said it could not comment on the existence or status of an investigation. Both Mayor Thomas and Council President Wallace have filed for the Democratic mayoral primary, which will be held in June.