It was a strange first day for Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Shawn Harris. He arrived at city hall to be sworn in and was then arrested by a couple of his own officers.
According to NBC New York, outgoing mayor Richard Thomas gave an order to the officers to have Harris arrested and charged with trespassing. Those charges were never filed and Commissioner Harris was released by the end of the day.
The dispute between the two public officials has been brewing for quite some time because Thomas fired Harris in March.
According to Lohud, Mayor Thomas just took a plea deal for illegally misusing $13,000 in campaign funds for his own personal expenses. The deal avoids jail time and calls for Thomas to resign as mayor, pay back the money and a fine. If he stays clean for the next year he could run for public office again.
Acting Mayor Andrew Wallace decided to reinstate Harris as police commissioner since the position has not been filled since his firing.
There is apparently some confusion in city hall as to who holds all the power. The plea deal calls for Thomas to resign by September, which would still give him the authority to block Harris’ appointment, though many city officials believe Thomas’ guilty plea effectively ends his tenure as mayor.
The city has now hired an outside law firm to clean up the disputes.
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