Cupcake shop owner files suit against Mount Vernon mayor
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas faces a new lawsuit over claims he tried to hurt a local business.
The suit was sparked by an August incident during which city inspectors made a surprise visit to the Cupcake Cutie Boutique.
Co-owner Miesha Stokely struggled to hold back tears Friday when announcing she is suing Thomas and the city for $1.5 million for trying to shut down her shop over what the city claims to be multiple building and health code violations.
City inspectors tried to shut down the shop after Thomas said they found that Cupcake Cutie doesn't have a certificate of occupancy, or plumbing or electrical permits, and faces other violations of the New York state sanitary code.
Stokely's attorney calls the allegations false and insists the mayor is targeting her because her stepfather Damon Jones is vocal critic of his administration.
Cupcake Cutie is the latest in a long line of lawsuits with which Thomas has been hit. In addition to the criminal charges he faces state court, Thomas is being sued for $27 million by the owner of the Kela Tennis Center for allegedly destroying its million-dollar bubble at Memorial Field and putting them out of business. Local businessman Conrad Cutler sued the mayor two years ago for $5 million for shutting down his bottling plant, forcing him to move.
Thomas calls the lawsuit from Cupcake Cutie meritless and insists the city will defend its position vigorously.
The owners of Cupcake Cutie sent News 12 a letter they received from the county Health Department showing there are no violations. They say they are still waiting for a certificate of occupancy from the city.