'I did see it coming': Mount Vernon police commissioner fired

Posted: Updated:
MOUNT VERNON -

Mount Vernon's police commissioner was suddenly fired Friday, and he says the reason why "speaks for itself."

Shawn Harris served as police commissioner for the city for just 14 months. He provided News 12 with a copy of his termination letter from Mayor Richard Thomas, which asked him to return all city property before departing.

"I serve at the pleasure of the mayor. So I guess the mayor feels it's no longer pleasurable of me to serve," says Harris. "The mayor feels he wants to go in a different direction, and I'm not part of that direction."

MORE: Mount Vernon police commissioner fires Deputy Commissioner Spiezio 

Just a month ago, Harris fired his own deputy police commissioner, Joe Spiezio, who reportedly had a close relationship with the mayor. Spiezio was let go after he was ticketed in New Rochelle for driving on a suspended, out-of-state license. Police say they pulled him over after watching him use lights and sirens to avoid traffic in a city-owned car.

When asked if he felt like the move was retaliation for firing Spiezio, Harris said, "You know what? It speaks for itself ... I did see it coming. Because I know who I'm dealing with."

Thomas released a statement saying the decision to fire Harris was made earlier this week, but couldn't get in touch with him until Friday. When asked for a reason for the firing, the mayor's office said "they decided to have a different vision."

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."