Loose Lips

HTJ Started Stealing Right Away

Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. was a crook from the very beginning. The statement of offense that Thomas agreed was true today in federal court outlines how Thomas began stealing city money just months after he put his hand on a bible and swore to represent the same council seat his late father had held. The court records also show that Thomas had plenty of help. As U.S. Attorney Ron Machen hinted at a news conference today, there could be more heads to roll in this sordid mess.

Much of Thomas' illegal behavior has already been documented by D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan, who sued Thomas in a civil case this summer. From Nathan's case we knew that Thomas had directed $400,000 in city funds to be sent to the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation to fund sporting activities for inner city youths, which awarded a grant to Langston 21st Century Foundation, which sent most of that money to Thomas, who spent that money on an Audi SUV and golf trips. Today we learned that Thomas actually did set up some youth sporting activities, like a day camp at Charles Young Elementary School. But the money for those came from the city's Department of Parks and Recreation, while Thomas spent the grant money on himself. (He was chairman of the council committee that oversaw DPR at the time.)

We also learned today that Thomas used the same pass-through scheme with two other unnamed organizations. After Thomas won his first election to the Ward 5 seat, but before he was sworn in, he met with the head of a for-profit company that provides "arts-oriented youth programs" to discuss ways of getting city funds for the company. In April 2007, the fourth month of his tenure, Thomas told the head of the company that he could get it $60,000. The two agreed, court records say, to give Thomas a cut of $15,000. In July of that year, Thomas directed the CYITC to pay the company. The company wound up paying Thomas $25,000, court records show.

The statement of offense also shows that Thomas used yet another unnamed organization in 2009 to pad his pocket. On Aug. 8, 2009, Thomas directed the CYITC to send this third organization $10,000 for a "summer program." This time, Thomas' price had gone up: His cut was 50 percent. The court records also show that Thomas used that same organization to funnel $110,000 from CYITC to the D.C. Young Democrats to help cover the costs of the 51st State Inaugural Ball, a celebration of President Barack Obama's inauguration that was held at the Wilson Building and organized by Thomas. The former councilmember's cut of that money was $7,500 for unnamed expenses related to the ball.

Just who are these unnamed people and organizations that did business with the disgraced pol? LL is working to find out and will report more shortly.

Photo By Darrow Montgomery

  • xtreme_butler

    The more that comes out about this, the worse it looks. His hearings were a joke, other than bragging about team thomas and talking about sports he had no presence whatsoever on the council. Why did he pick Neil Rodgers, who presided over a cesspool of corruption and incompetence at DPR? Why was Rodgers instrumental in doing the paperwork and getting checks? Why was Millicent West so helpful in approving checks without proper documentation? He was doing virtually no council business - just stealing (and yes, that is why his staff was of such low quality - it is unlikely they did anything but assist in his scams).

  • mikey

    noodlez, you hate whitey so much that you can't see straight. And your girlfriend tony too....

  • tony

    @mickey, go and cut your throat. You filthy azz faggot!

  • mikey

    There we go. That's what you really wanted to say all along.

  • michaeliceman

    Nobody has ever accused me of being a White Liberal. I consider myself a Black moderate. Theoretically, you are right. Corruption is corruption. But most people also have a “morality meter” that allows them further categorize these acts. Let’s look at the 4 recent big DC Council scandals and let me give you my personal take.

    1. Graham’s COS (and most likely Graham) accepting a bribe to influence the taxi legislation. FBI concluded the JG did nothing illegal. I personally think there is something more there and I wish the press would really go sniffing. I also dislike JG, but this does not move me all that much.
    2. Fully Loaded’s alleged campaign fund hijinks. Time will tell if anything illegal was done. Even so, this is a “shake my head and roll my eyes” type of thing for me. Misappropriation and improper of campaign funds does not jump my meter – it is done more than you know.
    3. The Mayors cronies allegedly promising SB a job and providing cash in exchange for him bashing Fenty (and of course the issue of child employment). Honestly, I have seen worse in campaigns and I know nepotism runs rampant in this government. I was annoyed at the media’s overblown focus on this issue. I think the media gave it longer legs than it otherwise would have had. Once again, I was amused and entertained, but my meter did not move too much.
    4. Councilmember misappropriating, for personal use, funds that were supposed to help, IMHO, the most vulnerable group of people in the city. As a Black CM who is out in the neighborhood, he KNOWS that these kids need help, distraction and intervention. These kids need resources!! He took advantage of that need to bulge his own pockets. That is what raises my meter – I do not care if he is White or Black. He stole from the most vulnerable of his own kind!!! Also, he is a Black CM. He HAS to know that, right or wrong, he is going to get more scrutiny! He helped them to put himself away.