Mount Vernon mayor’s felon half-brother wants more pension money

Posted: Updated:
Henry George Thomas was convicted of illegally selling handguns and quit his firefighting job. Henry George Thomas was convicted of illegally selling handguns and quit his firefighting job.
MOUNT VERNON -

A former Mount Vernon firefighter will receive his disability pension from the state despite a federal firearms conviction -- and he's also the mayor's half-brother.

But now a number of residents have voiced anger over the revelation that he wants even more money from the government.

"I believe that if you were caught committing a crime you should not be awarded any money from the state," says Francisco Peralta.

Helmut Bowling, a former postal worker, says he would lose his pension if he had a similar conviction.

As News 12 has reported, Henry George Thomas was convicted of illegally selling handguns and quit his firefighting job. Then he received a 50 percent pension on May 9 and will receive retroactive pay for the last 18 months.

Now, further angering city residents, his attorney says he's seeking to have his pension increased to 75 percent. He is appealing the matter in Albany, seeking an accidental disability retirement due to work-related injury, they lawyer says.

"Takes some nerve I'll tell you that," says Bowling, the former postal worker.

Despite the felony conviction, Thomas is entitled to his pension so long as he is not incarcerated. He received a sentence of probation for the federal gun charges. And on top of all of that, he's suing the city for $10 million.

The pension payments are not the first controversy linked to Thomas' conviction. In April 2016, News 12 obtained documents that stated Mount Vernon fired its commissioner of public safety, Robert Kelly, because he would not reinstate Thomas. The mayor denied that allegation.

Neither Mayor Richard Thomas nor the city's fire commissioner responded to requests for comment.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    Statue of LibertyStatue of Liberty

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

  • Students organize walkouts over gun violence

    Students organize walkouts over gun violence

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The protests were chosen to line up with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

    Students from across the country streamed out of their schools on April 20, 2018 in the latest round of gun-control activism following the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The protests were chosen to line up with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

  • Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."