Mount Vernon mayor pleads guilty to stealing campaign funds

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas pleaded guilty to stealing campaign finds and lying about them to the State Board of Elections, state officials said Monday.

Thomas is forced to pay a $13,000 fine and serve a one-year conditional discharge, forbidding him from seeking or accepting any elected or appointed public office or public servant position.

He’ll also resign, and leave office effective September 30.

Thomas admitted that he knowingly and unlawfully appropriated contributions from his campaign committee during his 2015 mayoral candidacy for his own personal use. He also admitted to filing a false report with the State Board of Elections relating to payments from his campaign committee.

The charges include attempted grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing.

“By using campaign funds to line his own pockets, Thomas broke the law, and violated public trust,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “New Yorkers put their faith in our public servants, and Thomas’ gross violation of that faith constitutes the utmost disloyalty to those he was sworn to serve. My office will continue to root out public corruption, uphold the integrity of public office, and bring bad actors to justice at every level of government throughout New York.”

“Mayor Thomas admitted to knowingly misusing campaign donations to fund his lifestyle instead of funding his campaign,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Thanks to my partnership with Attorney General Letitia James, his scheme was exposed and he has now admitted his guilt. I will continue to work with Attorney General James to root out public corruption across the state.”

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