Double vision: Questions swirl around who is running Mount VernonPosted: Updated:
A week has passed since Andre Wallace was sworn in as Mount Vernon’s acting mayor and Mayor Richard Thomas’ refusal to immediately step down - so many wonder who is running the city?
Richard Thomas insisted on Friday that he is still in charge of the city. The city clerk and comptroller say they will no longer recognize Thomas' authority, despite his insistence.
On Wednesday, the City Council voted unanimously to remove Thomas from office after he pleaded guilty to two campaign finance misdemeanors charges two days prior. They then swore in City Council President Andre Wallace as the acting mayor. Councilwoman Janice Duarte became the acting president.
Thomas says he is not going anywhere, but Wallace says he doesn't have a choice.
Decisions are apparently being made by the acting mayor. On Monday, Wallace re-appointed former police commissioner Shawn Harris. Harris was fired several months ago by Thomas after he abruptly terminated Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio, a close ally of Thomas.
Wallace released a statement saying in part that Harris is a dedicated and professional public servant who will once again serve the city with great distinction.
Richard Thomas has not yet responded to a request for comment.