Mount Vernon's former top cop responds to federal fraud lawsuit

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MOUNT VERNON -

Former Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Robert Kelly has responded to a federal fraud lawsuit brought upon by embattled Mayor Richard Thomas.

Kelly delivered a blistering response to the mayor's accusations that he was part of a conspiracy to defraud the Urban Renewal Agency, calling it retaliatory and that it meant to impugn his good name and reputation.

In the 53-page report, Kelly, who has largely remained quiet after being dumped by the mayor three months into his tenure, directly accuses Thomas of firing him because he wouldn't reinstate into the fire department the mayor's half-brother, Henry George Thomas.

Kelly says not only did the mayor pressure him about rehiring his half-brother, who had been convicted of selling guns out of the firehouse where he worked, but Mayor Thomas also lied about it to the media, saying "I didn't know about it."

Kelly also accuses Thomas of intervening in a murder investigation on behalf of a lawyer who was representing his brother and pressuring Kelly to appoint his campaign donor, Joseph Speezio, to the honorary position of deputy police commissioner.

In the mayor's lawsuit, Kelly is accused of altering police records and mishandling an investigation into two City Council members. Kelly refutes those charges too, insisting no crime scene existed and admitting he changed the reports, but only to ensure their accuracy.

Kelly was not available to comment on his response to the lawsuit. Officials from the mayor's office did not respond to News 12's calls.

There's no word yet on whether the mayor's civil lawsuit will ever go to trial.

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