Mayor sticks by buildings commissioner despite drunk driving arrest

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Just three days after the Mount Vernon buildings commissioner was arrested for drunk driving in New Rochelle, Mayor Richard Thomas says he hopes Daniel Jones gets the help he needs and he expects him to be back on the job at City Hall sooner rather than later.

“Sometimes you hit rough spots and he's getting the support and the counseling, and we are going to be with him," says Mayor Thomas.

MORE: Mount Vernon buildings commissioner charged with DWI 

The mayor made the comments while announcing plans for a new boutique hotel in Mount Vernon. He says despite cellphone video showing Jones in the lobby of City Hall on Thursday, he was not at work, but rather was there on personal time.

Jones was arrested Tuesday night after he allegedly drove a city vehicle into a parked car, then a tree and almost hit a pedestrian on Pelham Road in New Rochelle.

According to police, his blood alcohol level was .25, nearly three times the legal limit.

A News 12 investigation also found that Jones had eight prior suspensions on his license, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The mayor insists the proper background checks were completed on Jones prior to him being hired in May. He called Jones a “great worker.”

"We had a vetting process and the HR department did its best," says Mayor Thomas.

Daniel Jones has been mandated to undergo an Employee Assistance Program before returning to work. The mayor says to show his support, he plans on accompanying Jones to that program.

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