The City of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., is dealing with internal politics as the mayor alleges that the city comptroller refuses to pay the city’s bills, which has resulted in unpaid employees and a repossessed city truck.
“One of the jobs of any city is to pay its bills, and inexplicably, our comptroller doesn’t think she has to pay bills,” said Mt. Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas during a press conference.
Unpaid invoices from the first six months of 2018 total more than $1.1 million. This includes employee salaries and benefits, and city programs that were covered by employees and awaiting reimbursement.
Recently, Thomas alleges, a Department of Public Works truck was repossessed by the vendor after nonpayment for six months. The bucket truck was used to fix street lights, and without it the city must hold off on all street light repairs.
Without approved funds, the city is also unable to buy snow removal equipment at a time when the city would ordinarily prepare for the coming winter.
In May, the Yonkers Tribune reported that Mayor Thomas planned to sue Comptroller Deborah Reynolds over failure to act.
Following this press conference, Reynolds told News12 that there are not $1 million in unpaid bills, and any late bills are waiting because the mayor refuses to sign the checks. She alleges that Mayor Thomas is using her as a distraction from his ongoing corruption case, as reported by the New York Post, in which Thomas allegedly used campaign funds on car payments and other personal expenses.