Undisputed mayor: Mount Vernon’s Thomas out, Wallace in

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MOUNT VERNON -

Former Mayor Richard Thomas was moving out of his office at City Hall Thursday as acting Mayor Andre Wallace takes on the role.

Wallace hit the ground running now that he's the undisputed mayor of the city. He's already ordered changes to personnel in the fire department, but perhaps his boldest act was to clean house at the city’s Industrial Development Agency.

“Everyone in the IDA has been let go,” said Wallace, citing financial concerns and the “questionable” way in which it was run.

On Wednesday, Thomas' lawsuit against the City Council to remain in office until September was all but tossed out of court. In the evening, Thomas apparently accepted defeat and started cleaning out his office.

“He moved out most of the stuff already. He says he'd move out the rest by the end of the day,” Wallace said.

Wallace assumes power as a direct result of Thomas' criminal case that played out in court last month. When the former mayor pleaded guilty to two campaign-related misdemeanors, the City Council, citing the charter, insisted he must automatically vacate his position. A state Supreme Court judge agreed.

Wallace will serve in the interim position until a new mayor is sworn in come January. The acting mayor will be on the ballot.

“Things are moving smoothly…The fighting is all gone. All of the back and forth is gone,” said Wallace.

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