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