Mount Vernon sues 10 accused of stealing more than $1 million from Water DepartmentPosted: Updated:
The city of Mount Vernon is going after money stolen from the Water Department in a new lawsuit.
Filed by the city and the City's Board of Water Supply Monday morning, the lawsuit names 10 defendants, including former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Acting Mayor Andre Wallace says they lost more than $1 million that was diverted to other things.
"This is just one of the steps to make sure we get the taxpayers' money back," he said.
Wallace was on the City Council when he first blew the whistle about the abuse of money from the Water Department.
The lawsuit names 10 defendants, including former Mount Vernon Building Commissioner Daniel Jones and Lawrence Porcari, the city's former top lawyer. Porcari was found guilty last week for stealing $365,000 from the city's Water Department for non-water related expenses.
"It was never his to begin with and to reroute that kind of money into the former mayor's legal defense is uncalled for," Wallace said.
The lawsuit also names any law firms that accepted payments for unrelated matters from the Water Department.
Salaries of the former officials are listed in the lawsuit as well, forcing them to "disgorge all compensation" received after information linked them to the scheme.
Thomas tells News 12 this is another personal attack by Wallace and his "drug kingpin cronies." Thomas says he has yet to see the lawsuit but maintains his innocence and followed advice of legal counsel.
Defendants will have 20 days to respond to the lawsuit.