Mt Vernon Mayor Wants City to Hire PR Firm He Used After His Arrest

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Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas has called on city taxpayers to pay for the services of a public relations firm that has worked to help clean up his image after being arrested in March on charges including grand larceny.

Thomas allegedly stole more than $57,000 from his political campaign and inaugural committee to pay off personal expenses, according to The Journal News.

Thomas was accused of using funds from the Friends of Richard Thomas campaign committee and the Richard Thomas Inaugural Committee to pay off his credit cards and rent.

In addition, Thomas also allegedly used the money to finance a family trip to Mexico, make payments on his SUV, buy a Chanel purse, and make tuition payment to New York University, where he attended.

Now The Journal News reports that Thomas tried to get the Board of Estimate and Contract to approve the city’s hiring of Todd Shapiro Associates, the public relations firm that been working for Thomas since his arrest.

The proposed contract was for $5,000 a month for the city’s law department so the firm could “coordinate the defense of all proceedings against the city.”

The discussion has been tabled by other board members because they felt as though they did not have enough information to vote on the issue.

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