Factual Response to Fictitious and Vicious Lies
Dear Mount Vernon Friends and Family,
Every dirty trick in the book is being used to stop me from serving you. Each day we get closer and closer to revealing who has been stealing millions from Mount Vernon, causing property taxes to spike and services to suffer. You elected me to wage this great battle and I will not stop fighting until corruption is rooted out of City Hall.
We cannot allow the politics of the past to bring our great city down. While I know the attacks from the old guard may be disheartening, do not lose faith. My administration and I will continue to work to move Mount Vernon forward.
The latest lie is as unfounded as it is preposterous. Since 2013, the Amani Public Charter School has been awarded competitive grants from the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau for after-school programs in excess of $100,000 annually. The money serves more than 150 aspiring students in a safe and quality manner — teaching them science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
On my ethics filing I disclosed that I had been a board member of the school and that the school had received money from the city. The so-called Board of Ethics twisted this into a lie that the school gave me money. They opted to draw conspiracy level conclusions, assailing my involvement in education reform and providing for our young people.
Sadly, this shows how far some will sink to abandon their integrity for political expediency.
Here is a quote from the legal opinion issued by my counsel on the matter:
Statement of Laurence D. Laufer, Esq. “We wish to note that the Board’s grossly negligent disregard of the clearly defined limits of its jurisdiction and delegated authority. One could surmise that such recklessness and truly astounding incompetence suggest the Board and its legal mandate are being manipulated by outside parties in service of political agenda. We certainly hope that this is not the case.”
To be completely transparent, here are links to the contracts for the Charter School (Contract 1 — Contract 2) . I have recused myself from virtually all votes related to the award of the competitive grant… even when I was not a member of the board (October 2017 Vote — January 2017 Vote).
The forces that want to reverse the clock are working hard to hide the real corruption that my administration has uncovered. While I realize that many of you may be turned off by the negative attacks and smear campaigns; please rest assured that I will not waver and I will not stop fixing the broken system. A corrupt political class is attempting to undo the will of the people; who elected me to put at end of the corruption that has hurt our beautiful city for far too long.
I am a son of Mount Vernon who is honored to be your Mayor. I am proud of our accomplishments to-date, crime is down 32 percent since 2011, our sewers are being repaired after years of ignoring environmental mandates, home values are rising, and Memorial Field is being returned to the public. These are the things you elected me to do, Mount Vernon, and I will continue to get them done for you.
-Mayor Richard Thomas