[Mount Vernon News]
Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Richard filed court papers against Mount Vernon Councilman Andre Wallace and Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds.
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Mayor Richard Thomas filed legal papers today asking the State Supreme Court to order an end to the City Council’s and Comptroller Deborah Reynolds’ illegal actions related to the appointment of an “acting mayor.”
Specifically, Mayor Thomas’ court filing asked the court to order Councilman Andre Wallace to stop calling himself “acting mayor,” to stop signing checks and contracts as “acting mayor” and to stop hiring, terminating or terrorizing municipal employees.
Mayor Thomas’ legal filings ask the Court to re-affirm past decisions that the City Council may only exercise legislative powers and that it may not interpret or enforce laws since these are judicial and executive functions.
Mayor Thomas’ petition also references previous court orders and decisions against the City Council when they previously tried to fire mayoral appointees and withhold salaries.
In 2017 Supreme Court Justice Lefkowitz issued multiple orders, determining that the City Council exceeded its legislative function when it declared the positions of Corporation Counsel, Commissioner of Public Works and Deputy Police Commissioner to be vacant. Justice Lefkowitz found that the Council was exercising a judicial and executive function in violation of the City Charter.
She also enjoined them from interfering with Mayor Thomas’ day to day management and operation of the City in a decision which was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division. Mayor Thomas also cited a 2016 court order to end the City Council’s effort to undermine his administration and ability to govern immediately upon taking office. In that case Supreme Court Justice Neary ordered the City Council President and the Comptroller to stop issuing and signing City checks without the Mayor’s countersignature as required by the City Charter.
“These actions are illegal, unnecessary, disruptive, embarrassing, and directly interfere with the day to day operations of municipal government and my ability to discharge my statutory duties as Mayor,” said Mayor Thomas about the July 10 resolutions and Wallace’s and Reynolds’ actions since then. “The unnecessary confusion has also injured the City’s ability to conduct business. We will not tolerate immature extremists interpreting the law at the expense of the people. I will not stop defending the people and the integrity of our great City.”