Political chaos grips Mount Vernon as two men claim to be the mayor
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - On Tuesday night in Mount Vernon, police guarded the doors to the mayor's office while the City Council refused to let any cameras inside its public meeting.
But residents and even police say this tale of two mayors is long from being over. One officer shouted, "Get those microphones out of my face—I'm not answering questions right now."
Police Commissioner Shawn Harris was put behind bars for most of the day when he showed up to work. But even though he was finally released by day's end, his saga began when he was fired months ago by Richard Thomas, who still claims he is the mayor despite being ousted by the City Council.
Acting Mayor Andre Wallace reappointed Harris to police commissioner on Monday but Thomas claimed Harris was trespassing and that he, as the mayor, has the final say.
"I'm the mayor until I'm not and that's not going to change unless something else happens," Thomas said. "The reality is he trespassed and he should have done that and he was warned."
Thomas pleaded guilty to two campaign finance misdemeanors, which he claims allows him to stay in office through the end of September.
The City Council disagreed and appointed Andre Wallace as acting mayor, which is why Wallace said he makes the calls, especially when it comes to appointing his staff.
"I'm not going to go back and forth my with colleagues or anyone else," Wallace said. "I thought that was the right decision at the time. I'm going to stand by that position."
Wallace said the district attorney has decided not to press charges against Harris.
Harris is still deciding whether he will show up to work on Wednesday.