Judge Denies Mount Vernon Mayor's Request To Block AG From Prosecuting Him

May 22, 2018 - 3:02 pm

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A state judge on Tuesday denied a request by Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas to block the state Attorney General’s office from prosecuting him on charges that he used campaign funds for personal purposes.

Thomas made the request after Barbara Underwood became acting New York Attorney General. She replaced Eric Schneiderman, who resigned amid allegations that he physically abused four women.

Thomas claimed Underwood does not have the standing to prosecute him.

Thomas was arrested in March - accused of stealing $58,000 from his campaign and inaugural committees.

Schneiderman alleged in March that Thomas took nearly $13,000 from his campaign committee, the Friends of Richard Thomas, diverting over $45,000 from his inaugural committee for personal use and failing to disclose it.

Before the election, Thomas allegedly used the money to pay off cars, dinners, and a $2,000 Chanel purse. Schneiderman alleged that after the election, Thomas used cash from his inaugural committee to pay of his and his wife's personal American Express bills.

Thomas was elected in 2015 and became the youngest mayor ever in Mount Vernon. If convicted, he would have to step down.