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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Thomas in Negotiations to Resign?

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Hopefully the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow has yet to be misappropriated

WTOP reports news from a source that Ward Five Councilmember Harry Thomas is negotiating a plea agreement with the US Attorney's Office that will require him to step down from his seat. Thomas stands accused of misappropriating more than 300k (maybe way more if you believe the Brookland Heartbeat) in funds meant for youth sports. Media (social, and otherwise) buzzed when the FBI and IRS staged a joint raid of Harry Thomas' home (months after the allegations had been made public). Will a plea allow him to avoid prison?

Thomas already settled with DC, and agreed to replay the District all the money with no interest, and no admission of guilt. Apparently somebody thought this was a great settlement because they gave basically the same deal to an ANC 5B Chair William Shelton, who appears to have stolen about 30k to pay for his Lexus and shopping habits. Bullshit pseudo punishments both times. And guess what? Thomas just missed his first payment. That means he's in default, and the whole amount will now be due instead of just the $50k. The Post quotes his lawyer as saying Thomas is "working on meeting the terms of that agreement," which seems odd considering that defaulting would seem by definition to NOT remotely meet the terms of the agreement.

If Thomas doesn't appease the District, we get to go after his privately held company. If it doesn't have the money, we get to use liens and other fun tools to try to recover the funds. These recovery efforts will, of course, also cost more money. Oh, and the vacancy when Harry Thomas Jr. resigns triggers a mandatory special election within 114 days.  Remember that time we had like 15 people running for that seat? Yep. I think we can all look forward to a bit of craziness there. Paging Kathy Henderson...

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UPDATE
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I hesitated to link to the WUSA9 report before because it suggests that the plea agreement would definitely include a 2-3 year prison term, but there are other indications that no deal has really yet been reached to that effect. Bottom line is that it sounds like negotiations are ongoing. I will update as more news becomes available.

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WUSA9 reporter @brucejohnson9 reporting that Harry Thomas Jr.'s staff has been told to look for new jobs.

10 comments:

Chris said...

Re: your picture caption -- this is DC. Of course it's already been misappropriated.

I disagree with Tommy Wells on a number of things; but I'm not aware of anything that makes me think he's corrupt. Is it fair to say that about anyone else on the DC Council? On the Kojo Nnamdi show a few months ago, he and Tom Sherwood highlighted the fact that Wells was the only member of the Council at that time whose affairs weren't being looked into by the DoJ. That's a phenomenal batting average. I used to think that when it came to corruption in government, Chicago had the enduring title of scumball capital of the Universe. Now, I'm not so sure anymore.

Oboe's Id said...

Bah, that's just like Wells, that hypocrite! He acts like he's some sort of saint, and claims to back strong ethics reform, and yet he's still serving on the Council with this gang of crooks. Hypocrisy! Grandstanding!

oboe said...

Thomas already settled with DC, and agreed to replay the District all the money with no interest, and no admission of guilt. Apparently somebody thought this was a great settlement because they gave basically the same deal to an ANC 5B Chair William Shelton, who appears to have stolen about 30k to pay for his Lexus and shopping habits. Bullshit pseudo punishments both times.

You've put your finger on the problem, from violent youth offenders, to middle-aged burglars, to the City Council. Not sure if it's the laws, the prosecutors, the judges, or all of the above, but it's pretty clear you can commit any crime short of murder in this city and the judiciary will give you a peck on the cheek and slip $5 in your pocket as punishment.

a_w said...

Good post and great rant.

Dave B said...

this must piss inked off. i've never seen her curse and inject opinion in her posts

Robin said...

114 days is not that far off, should a resignation be forthcoming, and my hope is that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a seriously motivated advocate for Ward 5, free of corruption, and willing to live within his or her Council Member means.

inked said...

dave b,
Sometimes you need to express an opinion, and I am not happy with either of those deals. It's a joke. Both these men (Thomas and Shelton) are getting rewarded for allegedly stealing public money. I think we should all be angry about the whole way this has gone down. Pardon any misspellings in the original post. I did write it when I randomly woke up at 3:30am.

Robin,
Let's def look to the future. People need to start gearing up to campaign should Thomas resign very suddenly. One thing about a special election is that it really could be anyone's game. Let's make it count.

Anonymous said...

I nominate Inked!

marybindc said...

I second a_w - great post and great rant.

LoLo said...

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