Loose Lips

D.C.: Harry Thomas Jr. Used Earmark Money for an Audi

Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. stands accused of not only steering more than $300,000 worth of city funds into his own pockets, but doing it poorly.

Attorney General Irv Nathan dropped a civil suit against Thomas today for taking an earmark for "youth baseball programs" and spending it on himself—allegedly for things like an Audi SUV, golf at Pebble Beach, and airline tickets. Nathan has also referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office, but a spokesman for the office says it was already investigating Thomas, anyway. The FBI is involved, as well; spokeswoman Katherine Schweit says the agency has been providing "assistance" to the U.S. Attorney's investigation.

According to Nathan's lawsuit, Thomas' bush league corruption involves steering $316,000 of a $400,000 earmark from the D.C. Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation to the non-profit Langston 21st Century Foundation, which, at Thomas' direction, gave the money to Thomas' non-profit and the for-profit version of Team Thomas.

Thomas then took that money and spent it on himself, the lawsuit says. Here's one example: On Feb. 6, 2008, the complaint says, Langston wrote Thomas, at his direction, two checks for $75,000 total. Thomas put the money in his account the same day, and two days later bought himself a $59,000 Audi.

Nathan said at a news conference today that Thomas' actions were "willful, intentional, and knowing" and says he wants Thomas to reimburse the city the money.

Thomas says he's done nothing wrong, and will be having a news conference shortly. So stay tuned.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Comments

  1. #1

    Whoo! ONE CITTAAAYYYY!

    Looking forward to HTJ's new conference - will be interesting to what this soon to be former councilmember has to say for himself.

  2. #2

    Hey, this nonsense dates back to 2008? Who was running the District back then? I can't remember...

  3. #3

    @deedle, I'm pretty sure the same guy whose attorney general started the probe that led to the charges against HTJ outlined today.

    Wonder how Vince feels about one of his closest allies today. Bet he wishes he'd kept his distance...

  4. What the flocka?
    #4

    You know that there's not one decent car-dealer in DC. Could you imagine if the auto-dealers were actually located in the quandrant of the city?

    I know HTS is turning over in his grave and momma Thomas probably is ready to whip her baby boy with a switch.

  5. #5

    This earmark, as well as Thomas' slush fund fueled by private donors, happened while Gray chaired the city council. Were it not for Nickles and his successful enforcement of TWO subpoenas to Thomas, HT would've gotten away with it. Nickles launched this probe and Nathan, to his credit, continued pursuing it even after Gray suggested it was politically motivated (comparing it to his fencegate infraction).

    Thomas could've bought baseball gloves for every teenager in DC with that kinda dough. Another One City ally bites thr dust.

  6. #6

    Every person who has abused resources or either initiated, participated or was complicit in wrongdoing needs to be punished. Only then will the sewage politics end in the District.

  7. #7

    Harry Thomas Sr. always knew this clown was too stupid for public life. It was always mama's ego that pushed him along.
    How did we get so many stupid people on the Council and in the executive branch so quickly? I mean it was only a little over 4 years ago we were led by Tony Williams and Linda Cropp and now this whole mess of dullards. It is amazing if you think about it.

  8. #8

    @ WardQueen: Don't forget Kathy Patterson. We lost her too.

    I agree most of the CM's (and the executive) look horrible these days.

  9. #9

    The allegations contained in the City's complaint are absolutely incredible. Thomas stole $400,000 from the City, which was supposed to benefit the District's youth, to pay for trips to casinos, vacations and an Audi SUV. Have you no character, integrity or self-respect Mr. Thomas? Would you really stoop so low as to steal money from kids to buy yourself an Audi? You are a pathetic human being. Though you won't be going to jail, you will live as a poor man the rest of your life. And the City's kids, particularly in Ward 5, will continue to suffer.

  10. Mr. Bigglesworth
    #10

    Anyone remember HTJ's horror show of a confirmation "hearing" with Ximena Hartsock? So do these charges mean that, after costing her the job DPR, he shook down her next employer, the D.C. Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation?

    I recall an old WCP story about how nonprofits in Ward 5 supported HTJ publicly on their websites, even though taking a political stance or supporting a given politician is a violation of federal law for nonprofits. I also recall that while most of the DCYITC funds were distributed by committee, HTJ insisted he be given his "share" of the funding to distribute himself, claiming something along the lines of his knowing better how to do so.

    Looks like WCP's own pages of yore can connect some interesting dots to show HTJ for who he really is (on a related note, remember his wife has an interesting role with the for-profit Washington Sports and Entertainment.

    Seriously, if there is a Greater Power, he has a cruel sense of humor to plague DC with the likes of HTJ, Fenty and Mayor for Life Barry ... at the same time!

  11. #11

    So when is it that Thomas is going to be releasing all those documents he promised last year?

    What a total ass clown.

  12. #12

    @Rake & Truth SO WHY ARE YOU TWO TRYING TO CREATE A LINK TO GRAY WITH YOUR BULLSHIT?

    OH BY THE WAY THIS ACTUALLY WAS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED! EITHER BY FAGGIE FENTY AND PLUG NICKLES FOR THOMAS STARTING PROBE INTO CONTRACT WORK AROUND DEAL OR THE COCKSUCKING REPUBLICAN FROM THE WARD RACE.

  13. #13

    noodlez: What I said in comment 5 is true. Simply put, Gray and Thomas are/were tight. Thomas was one of Gray's key backers. The earmarks and lack of oversight happened on Gray's watch as council chair. Gray ran on character, integrity, leadership. While he chaired the council, Nathan says there wasn't much of that when it came to council ethics. See his remarks re the need for serious ethics reforms on the council -- meaning Gray should have but didn't put them in place.

    HT, not Gray, is responsible for HT's actions, and he'll pay for them. Just remember, though, he helped get Gray elected and the two are close allies. It's the truth.

  14. #14

    1. Vincent Gray and his cronies are consistently displaying a similar pattern of behavior. They use threats, abuse their positions and utilize illicit means to compel public and private entities to provide income and resources to their inner circle. Look at Gray's comments directed to Wal Mart, the involvement of Brooks and Green in the S. Brown affair, and Gray's behavior relative to the D.C. Lottery contracts.

    2. When will the Feds review the behavior of Yvette Alexander, Marion Barry, Michael Brown and Harry Thomas? They all colluded with Gray to enlarge their bank accounts and those of their co-conspirators. Look at the Team Thomas contributors... especially in 2008. Did any of those contributors have business before the Council? Yes, particularly Marchant and LTE... namely the Lottery.

    3. We've now learned that Gray met privately with Lorraine Green (Gtech) and Emmanuel Bailey (Intralot) to place them on bid teams for each company, respectively, after he took the unusual and unprecedented step of blocking the initial lottery contract award for nearly a year while Green and Bailey secured their deals. If this isn't contract steering, what is? More importantly, why did Gray do it and why was Gandhi complicit? Oh yeah, Lorraine Green was the HR exec for Amtrak who "offered" Gandhi the CFO position at Amtrak at a substantially higher salary than his DC salary, which he used to force DC to give him a higher salary.

    There is something rotten in Denmark and the feds have only scratched the surface. Who do you trust to drain the swamp DC?

  15. #15

    @Truth Hurts - Exactly. Thanks for responding and saving me the time.

    @Just Curious, the Feds are already reviewing Team Thomas, and have a cooperating witness. It's going to be an interesting summer, as there is a good chance this One Citidiot farce is unravelled by Labor Day.

  16. Wendy Washington
    #16

    HTJ was not doing anything for his constituents before. (Never has -- never will!)

    Now that he will have to focus on defending himself in the lawsuit, he will not even do the basic work of a CM.

    Harry, stop insulting our intelligence. Holding that pointless press conference yesterday did not accomplish a thing -- except to show us that you are arrogant and stupid!

  17. #17

    "Just remember, though, he helped get Gray elected and the two are close allies." It's the truth."-THE FACT THAT THE FLENSTER WAS THE WORST MAYOR WDC EVER HAD GOT GRAY ELECTED. NOTHING ELSE! THOMAS WAS NOT A FACTOR NOR AN ALLY. NOW IF THIS WAS BARRY THEN I WOULD AGREE. BUT THOMAS??? COME ON MANNN.

    ALSO STOP PANDERING FOR CO-SIGNERS WITH THOSE REACHING COMMENTS. YOU ALREADY HAVE Drez ON YOUR TEAM.

  18. #18

    @noodlez: Sorry, the "honorable" Marion Barry was the worst mayor DC has ever had. He's the one who started the whole sleaze factor in DC and continues his antics to this day. Fenty isn't even close to the worst (other than disrespecting certain citizens who did deserve some respect from the mayor).

  19. Mr. Bigglesworth
    #19
  20. #20

    @comment 17, from today's LL, no less: This is more bad news for Hizzoner. Thomas is a close ally, and Gray who would often talk on the campaign trail about what a shame it would be if Thomas got less than 75 percent of the vote in his re-election bid...

    One City, comedy gold.

  21. #21

    It just goes on and on

  22. #22

    Has anyone looked to see who was at the helm of the CYITC when all this was happening??

  23. #23

    Thomas, Thomas, Thomas - go away little boy!

    LOL...HTJ, I know you want to go stick your little hawk nose under a rock, don't you? It appears that you've gotten fatter because your suits are looking wider in the shoulder area and that piece of fat hanging from under chin tells all too...does this eating come from frazzled nerves OR does it come from the defunct coffers of Team Thomas?

    I remember seeing you on VG's campaign trail in your new Audi. Yes, baby, you were riding high, cheesing like Huggy Bear and wondering how many glances you caught aimed at your ghetto flare. I gotta give it to you though as you are quite graceful in your mannerism but still a toilet lawmaker as all the rest.

    Thomas you are a sick man to divert monies away from needy adolescents in order to fund your no-game golf outings. Was it worth it? Did you ride around any of the kids you used to steal money in your shiny Audi? Were you laughing all the way to the dealership in Silver Spring? Did you say to your wife: "Mamacita get the tacos ready so we can celebrate the theft of $60,000 that was used to purchase the Audi." With the money you stole, how many cans of refried beans did your wife buy to stock the cabinets for the winter. From what is left, Diane needs to do a whole lot of stocking up because you will be rooted out shortly. Bye bye now.

  24. #24

    Funny, I had a conversation just the other day about HT with a former Fenty administration member (who asked my thoughts about the current CM Thomas) ... I said he was not even a shadow of the man his father was, and would never be. Harry "The Horse" Thomas was seen out and about Ward 5 regularly; was in touch with his constituents; and actually cared about his Ward and this City. His son is a total disgrace to his memory and legacy.

  25. #25

    Too through

  26. #26

    Give HTJ some credit...at least he gas good taste in cars.

  27. #27

    @Rake-YO DUMB ASS CLOWN; SEWERMAN IS A JOHNNY COME LATELY TO THIS PARTAY.

    STOP REITERATING HIS BULL SHIT AS FACTUAL.

  28. #28

    @ #27, Time to face some facts. Here's a quick rundown courtesy of Google:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/afge/4684697885/

    http://www.brooklandheartbeat.org/may09_arc.html

    http://whwweb.com/2010/11/election-night-watch-parties-and-events/ (thomas and gray held their election night parties together)

    And this picture is my favorite - they managed to fit four losers in one photograph:
    http://www.zimbio.com/Harry+Thomas+Vincent+Gray/pictures/pro

  29. #29

    @ Rake: Too funny! And sad. The photos of Gray campaigning for HT and the last photo are my faves.

Leave a Comment

Blogs Linking to this Article

  1. Washington City Paper: Councilmember Thomas Re-Engages « Pulse Perspectives

    [...] funds earmarked for kids’ sports. An organization he controlled spent the money, according to the D.C. attorney general and Thomas’ bank records, on a $69,000 SUV, high-priced golf trips, and at least one meal at [...]

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
...