Loose Lips

Harry Thomas Jr. Sentenced to 38 Months in Prison

Harry Thomas Jr. Sentenced to 38 Months in Prison

Harry Thomas Jr. will go to federal prison for 38 months, then serve three years of probation, for stealing more than $350,000 in city funds, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ruled this morning.

“This is a case of betrayal,” Bates said.

Before the sentencing, Thomas blamed his theft of on “a sense of entitlement.” He briefly choked up when he told the judge that he had humiliated his family, including his mother Romaine Thomas, who also testified on her son’s behalf at the sentencing, asking the judge for leniency.

The sentence was less than the 46 months that federal prosecutors had asked for, but also far more than the 18 months Thomas' attorneys had recommended.

D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan, whose office (under his predecessor, Peter Nickles, had launched the investigation that led to Thomas' plea), applauded the news: "The sentence imposed on former Councilmember Thomas sends a strong message to those who would abuse the power of their District government positions to enrich themselves at the expense of the public:  There will be serious consequences for such unlawful actions."

During the hearing this morning, Thomas’ lawyers made the case that their client deserved a light sentence because he devoted himself to teaching the city’s youth life lessons through sports. Attorney Karl Racine even said Thomas was teaching children about owning up to one's mistakes by pleading guilty. What Racine didn’t mention, of course, was the protracted period during which Thomas proclaimed his innocence, even after the District’s attorney general had essentially accused him of the same crimes he would eventually admit.

LL will have more on the sentencing when he's back in the office.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • eriktheviking

    sorry but the years of service to youth make this crime even more egregious. he shouldn't have received any lenience for it and was particularly audacious in asking for leniency based on serving the youth he used to live a lavish lifestyle.

    let him rot.

  • InTheMixx

    Glad this is over. There is alot of good going on in the city that has been overshadowed by these slow moving investigations.

  • Timmy

    His lawyer has the audacity to say that Harry Thomas Jr. was teaching the DC City kids what was right by pleading guilty. Yeah, after he denied it for MONTHS...and was caught RED HANDED....may he ROT in prison where he belongs! Stealing from kids for oneself and then pawning off a lame excuse is unforgivable! REMEMBER THAT WARD 5 DON'T BE LIKE WARD 8 and elect a crook EVERY TIME!

  • Dog-House Worthy

    Montgomerg Federal Prison @ Maxwell AFB, Alabama is a country club for prisoners. Prisoners work cutting the grass, cleaning the gym and grounds, and get to have work hours without a guard watching their every move. It certainly is no Shawshank when you think of federal prisons. However, when the sun goes down the prisoners have to be back in their bunks. I don't think they have cells but dorm-like rooms. I still wouldn't want to lose my freedom there though.

  • InTheMixx

    @Timmy, crooks don't wear a badge when running for office.

  • Timmy

    @InTheMixx, no badge necessary conviction for Mr Barry:
    Barry was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of misdemeanor drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to possess cocaine. The criminal trial ended in August 1990 with a conviction for only one possession incident, which had occurred in November 1989, and an acquittal on another. The jury hung on the remaining charges. Six or seven jurors (of whom two were white and the rest black) believed that the evidence against Barry was overwhelming and that he had displayed "arrogance" during the trial.

  • Timmy

    The fact that Marion Barry is a DC Councilman from 2004 is just plain ridculous and shameful for WARD 8....not to mention all the anti-Asian comments of the last 3 months....sadly Ward 5 just followed suit from Harry Thomas's father.....will WARD 8 do this with the Barry child (already arrested and pleaded out on drug charges)????

  • NE John

    Sucker! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aha ha ha ha hah a ha ha ha hha

  • NE John

    Harry, I guess you won't be fixing my sidewalk after all. Mr. Tim Day take note.

  • NE John

    momma's boy!

  • SEis4ME

    sorry but the years of service to youth make this crime even more egregious. he shouldn't have received any lenience for it and was particularly audacious in asking for leniency based on serving the youth he used to live a lavish lifestyle.

    Amen!

  • StrangeFruit

    @InTheMixx.

    The problem is, it's more profitable for the media not to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  • Race Matters

    This is good news! Former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas should have gotten 15 years in prison.

  • Race Matters

    P.S.

    I hope Harry Thomas Jr. share a cell with a large muscular toned black/Mexican/white/Puerto Rican/Salvadoran man named Bubba.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    As far as Barry's son filling his seat, I am very saddened to see Barry winning in Ward 8 again. Too bad the son was more influenced by his father than his mother who appeared to be a person of class.

    The demographics in Ward 8 have changed greatly in recent years, but not enough to boot Barry out of here.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    As far as Vince Gray and K brown is concerned, it is up to the citizens of DC to get rid of them (scoundrels) and forget about having them investigated which is nothing but a cat and mouse game. And may not result in an indictment,et all.

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE. DO YOUR JOBS!

  • Peter

    38 months for stealing $350k. A lot less than what you get for robbing someone for $30 off the street.

    Priorities...

  • DJ Ren

    @SEis4ME: Please explain - you say Amen! to this: sorry but the years of service to youth make this crime even more egregious. he shouldn't have received any lenience for it and was particularly audacious in asking for leniency based on serving the youth he used to live a lavish lifestyle.

    But go on in other threads to state that the coverage of Harry's crimes has been over the top?!?! So much for consistency.

  • SEis4ME

    @DJREN, But go on in other threads to state that the coverage of Harry's crimes has been over the top?!?! So much for consistency.

    Uhm, I said Amen to the fact that George "I Murder Teens" Zimmerman was arrested but I still believe the incessant coverage was over the top.

    Your example of my "inconsistency" is as silly as the idea that George Zimmerman was beaten into an almost coma.

  • DJ Ren

    @SEis4ME, leaving aside the fact that Zimmerman and HTJ have absolutely nothing to do with each other, the comment of yours I was referring to is here:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2012/05/03/harry-thomas-jr-sentenced-to-38-months-in-prison/#comments

    Way to try and reframe the argument, but as usual, you've come up short. Thanks for playing, and best of luck to you. Keep practicing!

  • DJ Ren

    Actually, SEis4ME, you've said nothing of the sort (refer to the HTJ Sentenced to 38 mo in prision article for a refresher on your comment). Aside from the fact that Zimmerman and HTJ have nothing to do with each other - nice try at reframing the argument. Thanks for playing, though.

    Maybe next indictment you'll come up with a better argument. Hope springs eternal.

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