Loose Lips

Key Figure in TeamThomasGate Says He Hasn’t Talked To Feds

A key figure in the Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s alleged fraudulent misuse of city funds says he's not been interviewed by any federal law enforcement officials, raising questions about when, or even if, Thomas will face federal charges.

Jimmy Garvin, a well-known golf instructor and program director at Langston Golf Course, says he's not been contacted by the FBI or the U.S. Attorney's office regarding Thomas. Garvin played a prominent role in the D.C. Attorney General's investigation into Thomas and the Team Thomas organizations, and the fact that Garvin has not been interviewed has raised some eyebrows in city government about the intensity in which the U.S. Attorney's Office is pursuing its case against Thomas. The Post recently quoted anonymous sources saying that Thomas is currently the subject of a grand jury investigation.

Looking at Attorney General Irv Nathan's investigation, Garvin would seem like someone the feds might want to talk to. According to a civil lawsuit filed by the AG this summer, Thomas steered a $400,000 city earmark for "youth baseball" to Langston 21st Century Foundation, on whose board Garvin sits. Sometime in 2007 or 2008, Thomas, Garvin, and Langston 21's board president Marshall Banks, "met to review an application" for the earmark with the understanding that Team Thomas would do the work and receive the money, but neither its name nor Thomas' name would appear anywhere on the application, according the A.G.'s office.

Thomas' council office then allegedly submitted phony budget narratives to the agency that controlled the earmark (The Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation) on Langston 21's behalf, and told the CYITC to write checks to Langston 21 "c/o Jimmy Garvin," the lawsuit says. Once the CYITC paid Langston 21, Thomas instructed Garvin to hand over the money, the AG's lawsuit says. The lawsuit lays out how two days after Thomas received the first $75,000 from  from Langston 21, he allegedly headed out to Tisher Audi in Silver Spring to buy himself a $69,000 luxury SUV.

When Nathan brought his lawsuit against Thomas in June, he announced that Garvin and Banks had agreed to pay the city back $86,000, money that Langston 21 had been paid from the original earmark. Nathan also noted that they both "promised to cooperate" in the District's case against Thomas.

Thomas, we all know, proclaimed his innocence and vowed the vigorously fight the civil suit before quietly agreeing this summer to repay the city $300,000 to settle it, instead.

LL's efforts to find out if the feds have been talking to others involved in the Team Thomas matter didn't get very far. Thomas has declined to talk about the case. When LL asked Ellen London, president of the CYITC, if she'd been interviewed by anyone, she said, "Umm ..." gave an awkward laugh, and said she'd call LL back. London called back to say that she had no comment either way. Former Thomas staffer Victoria Leonard (who now works for Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown) also wouldn't say either way, and declined to say if she's hired an attorney. Leonard played a key role in trying to raise funds from corporate donors for Team Thomas. Thomas aide Neil Rodgers, who emails obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request show acted as a go-between Langston 21 and the CYITC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And Manning did not return calls seeking comment.

As for the feds, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said a few weeks ago that his office is moving aggressively in its investigation into alleged local corruption matters. His spokesman declined to comment on Garvin's statement.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • stinkinthinkin

    Alan S, if these elected crooks and their cohorts do not get indicted then I agree they should keep stealing,lying and benefitting from the DC taxpayers. It appears no action criminally by the prosecutor conveys an 'OK' to continue doing whatever elected and selected connected folk in DC wants.
    Please let the white folk take control of this city, elect a republican Prez and gentrify all wards especially 5,7 and 8 where the elected alleged crooks live.

  • native_resident

    Harry Thomas and Jimmy Garvin Must Go.

  • Honest Abe

    As a Ward 5 resident, I will say it again. Mark my words, do not be surprised if HTJ is let off the hook. Ron Machen the U.S. Attorney is a member of Omega Psi Phi, the same fraternity as Thomas. Machen will not prosecute simply because of this connection. I've also said that HTJ's entire staff needs to be fired and investigated. HTJ is a thief, cheat, and a liar. The citizens of Ward 5 need better representation at city hall.

  • NE John

    Ward 5, as well as the U.S. Attorney's office, are like the dysfunctional alcoholic crooked pedophile necrophiliac uncle that is hidden in the basement.

  • Drez

    One City, with liberty- but no justice- for all.

  • SEis4ME

    @HonestAbe, so in essence you are calling the US Attorney unethical? The US Attorney?

    *silly season is back*

  • deedle

    It would be more interesting if you'd update how much has been repaid to date and when the rest of the money is recovered.

  • Blevins

    @deedle: Agreed. But, don't hold your breath. Where is HTJ going to get $300k? Legal Defense Fund?! Maybe his buddy Vince Gray will give him a small loan?

    @HonestAbe: Seriously, Machen isn't going to prosecute HTJ because they were in the same FRATERNITY? That's ridiculous. I don't know much about whatever fraternity they were both in, but we're not talking skull and bones or secret 7 here...

  • Typical DC BS

    @NE John: That's awesome!

  • Artful Dodger


    Honest Abe was saying that Ron Machen has an apparent conflict of interest. He's taken a vow to protect and support is fellow Omega fraternity brothers and the social action programs the Omega fraternity is committed to. That protection and the social action programs may be in conflict with his committment to ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

    Because of the appearance of a conflict of interest, Mr Machen should recuse himself and pass the investigation to a more impartial party. If not, he could potentially be reprimanded or discaplined.

    We don't need another racially charged investigation in this city. And more importantly, we don't want to blemish the career of a good guy like Machen.

  • SkinsFan83

    If Thomas gets away, everyone will be applying for Gov't jobs so they can steal money

  • Truth Hurts

    Thomas owes Irv a 50k installment payment in December. Wonder which lawyer lobbyist will remit this one. Maybe Cooke again?

  • NE John

    "Honest Abe was saying that Ron Machen has an apparent conflict of interest. He's taken a vow to protect and support is fellow Omega fraternity brothers"

    What the fuck is this???? I will never, ever hire one of these jackasses!

  • NE John

    Fukn A SinsFan83!

  • NE John

    I will work to have the District Attorney handling this case disbarred! W.T.F.!!!!

  • Honest Abe

    Artful Dodger

    Well spoken! That's exactly the point I was stating. @SEis4ME that's exactly what I am saying. Don't believe me, then why has there not been any charges filed as of yet? What is there to really investigate? @Blevins, why do you think it's ridiculous? I don't think it's a crazy theory. I have members of Omega Psi Phi in my own family who has even acknowledged the connection there and the obligation on Machen's part. If he does take action, it'll more than likely be a slap on the wrist just so he can say he took action. As Artful Dodger stated, Machen should recluse himself from this matter altogether. On another note, there was a hearing today sponsored by Muriel Bowser to establish a code of ethics. Guess who was not there? Yup, you got it! My Ward 5 council-member.

  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    Now what role has Ayana Chase-Webster played in this Team Thomas scandal. Did she not call state evidence,in thepresence of her hubby w/ the new AG Irv Nathan

  • Brightwood 34

    Just because the AG and HTJ are Que's means NOTHING!!! Give the AG time to get his case together. Unless you want HTJ to skate on some Technicality

  • Southeast Ken

    Ward 5 D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. should be sharing a jail cell with Ted Loza.

  • Truth Hurts

    Harry "f... the kids" Thomas. Take a long look in the mirror. How can you live with the guy you've become?

  • Laughing

    @Brightwood 34 - In order to be a full-fledged member of a sorority/fraternity wouldn't one have to graduate ultimatately? So you pledge, drop out of school and you still have membership? Rumor has it that Thomas never graduated!

    I think in order to get rid of this dude Harry himself would have to do it by driving himself over the edge of the 14th Street bridge in his shiny Audi SUV. Hurry up Harry, you're late!