Councilman Harry Thomas and BNCA President Caroline Petti
courtesy of tbridge
Harry Thomas Jr, seen above at Brookland ribbon cutting, tonight released a statement that he intends to resign his Ward 5 council seat in the morning, and plead guilty to two federal crimes related to $383,000 of city money that was misappropriated by a charity that Thomas operates. In his statement tonight, Thomas said, “Tomorrow morning I will plead guilty to committing two federal crimes. I am resigning my position as a member of the Council effective immediately. I made some very serious mistakes and exhibited inadequate and flawed judgment. I take full responsibility for my actions. I am truly sorry.”
Thomas is expected in court at 11:15am tomorrow for a plea hearing in Federal Court to answer for the charges that were filed against him this morning. A plea deal has been rumored by several media outlets for the last few days, and may contain up to 3 years for Thomas in prison.
A special election would take place on the first Tuesday after 114 days from the certification of the vacancy of Thomas’ seat, which would likely place the election on May 8th or 15th. Candidates have already begun to appear, with at least six possibilities emerging as prospective candidates in the last few days, to include some of Thomas’ former challengers, including Delano Hunter and Kenyan McDuffie.
D Block, Alcatraz
courtesy of itjournalist
We only gave Harry Thomas Jr the #3 slot in 2011’s Worst of Scandals list, but it appears he will be the number one figure in DC politics for the next few weeks. WUSA9’s Bruce Johnson is reporting that Councilmember Thomas will resign as part of a plea deal that will send Thomas to prison for 2-3 years. In addition, according to comments obtained by the Washington Post, Thomas failed to make his second scheduled $50,000 payment this week.
Thomas’ resignation would leave Ward 5 without a seat on the council (excepting At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange, who also lives in Ward 5) until a special election could be called. The District, according to law, must hold the election on the Tuesday after 114 days from the certified vacancy. Should Thomas’ vacancy be certified by Friday of this week, that election would take place on April 30th, but a May election date is more likely. Thomas faced three challengers in the 2010 primary, with none gathering more than 19%. No word yet on if any of his 2010 challengers would make a run for his seat.
Should Thomas resign, it would be nice to see the Council take efforts to, give the financial situation, amend the charter to add more flexibility to the special election options, including alignment to nearby primary and special elections, as well as provisions to allow for the Board of Elections to avoid days that could limit voters for religious reasons.
courtesy of ‘cliff1066Ã¢ï¿½Â¢’
According to several local sources, the home of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. was raided this morning by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Treasury Department in connection to an on-going investigation. It’s not immediately clear if this is related to Thomas’ admission that he would return $300,000 of city money earmarked for youth sports goods, or if this is a new charge.
Agents impounded a motorcycle and an SUV at the Thomas house, but have not to date captured Thomas’ Audi that was purchased with that money.
As a Ward 5 resident, I hope that Thomas thinks long and hard before saying anything at Monday’s reading of the Ethics bill before the Council.
The weather, courtesy of TBD
As we get ready to go home, here’s the latest on the impending snowfizzle, explosions in Arlington, baby lion cubs playing with their dad at the zoo, a timeline on the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed at DC9, a Verizon iPhone, and more!