Loose Lips

Millicent West Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge

Millicent West, who two mayors placed in charge of a more than $100 million-a-year city agency responsible for the District's security and emergency management, pleaded guilty today to a felony tax charge for her minor role in helping former Ward 5 Councilmember and current federal prison inmate Harry Thomas Jr.'s theft of city funds.

West headed the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corp in 2009, when she helped Thomas get $110,000 in grant money in order to cover the cost of an inaugural party thrown at the Wilson Building. According to testimony today in court and previously filed court records, after Thomas threw the inagurual bash, he was way short of funds, so he went to West a few days after the event looking for a payday. With the help of Thomas' chief of staff, Neil Rodgers, West helped divert $110,000 in money that had been raised for youth drug prevention programs to help pay for the party. West is now the fifth person to plead guilty to felony charges related to Thomas' misbehavior, and the federal investigation is ongoing. Rodgers has not been charged with any crime.

"Unfortunately, as we have seen too many times, she agreed to break the law to appease a crooked public official who was intent on carrying out a criminal scheme," U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said in a statement. "As a result, she allowed more than $100,000 intended to keep D.C. kids off drugs to be used to throw a party for adults. This prosecution underscores the importance of standing up to corruption rather than becoming complicit in it."

Former Mayor Adrian Fenty appointed West to head the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency in 2009. She was one of the few department heads holdovers Mayor Vince Gray kept in his administration. West was forced to resign after her role in the Thomas affair became public.

And the $110,000 Thomas stole to pay for the party?  The same judge that accepted West's guilty plea today ruled last year that Thomas did not have to pay that back.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Not really

    The only thing she was dedicated to was herself. Wait til the feds start auditing the homeland security money

  • newcomer

    She belongs in jail.

  • NE John

    slammmahhhhh!

  • Drez

    Used and abused by HTJ. Shouldn't have helped him scheme a way to use funds from her organization but, at the end of the day, he lied about their eventual use. Also, does anyone really beleive he wouldn't have had her fired if she didn't play ball? Look at how he treated DPR directors when he had oversite of that agency.
    Read Machen's statements on the her conviction. LL excerpts it, but WaPo has more:
    In an interview Friday, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. called West a “dedicated public servant.”

    In a written statement, he said: “We hope that this guilty plea allows Ms. West to put this mistake behind her and return to doing good works.”

    “Unfortunately, as we have seen too many times, she agreed to break the law to appease a crooked public official who was intent on carrying out a criminal scheme. As a result, she allowed more than $100,000 intended to keep D.C. kids off drugs to be used to throw a party for adults,” Machen said.

    She didn't benefit personally from this, except perhaps in that she continued to keep her job. It's wrong, but so is so much that goes on in DC Gov and this is very typical.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Now wait a damn minit, Drez. Are you trying to defend what Ms. West did to 'preserve her job'???? Un(f'ing) believable. Your hypocrisy is so glaring.

    Oh, that's right. Ms. West was a Fenty sycophant. And of courae you wouldn't smell their shit if it was in your face. Something similar to not smelling your own?????

    Well not one to offer advice to obvious fools, but you need to get your head out of Adrian Fenty's ass. He's gone and he will not be back. Find somebody else's ass to crawl into.

    Now you got me so worked up I think I'll surprise the church and show up today asking for the wisdom to ignore your misguided ass.

  • drez

    RIF, NWADM
    Enjoy church and while you're there, pray for Gray. He's next.

  • Sick

    Dres, Think back and tell me if you REALLY believe a councilman could have fired or had fired any of the unqualified for their position employees that Fenty hired? You do realize that this party had already happened and hadnt sold enough tickets to pay for itself by the time she was asked to give money right? At the Wilson Building right? Do you think she wasnt at the party or knew someone at the party or had an in ite to the party? What Im getting at is she had enough info to know this wasnt a party FOR kids but she said she thought if there were kids who attended then it qualified? Please! This is an example of the going all out to get SOME but when their names come up in it all of a sudden its a person who didnt know it was wrong and a dedicated person who made A=ONE mistake. GTFOOH!

    I happen to KNOW that even though Thomas was a spoiled ass brat who tried to get whatever perks he could from his job he was ALSO dedicated to the children of ward 5 and would use those same perks at his disposal to do for the kids too. YES he was an ass but you cant take away from the fact that he made sure kids of ward 5 stayed involved in activities even if they couldnt pay. The reason I say YOU cant take it no matter what shit you talk is because their are thousands of kids who REMEMBER!!!

  • drez

    Remind me: how many hundreds of thousands of dollars did Thomas steal from those kids you say he loved? And for what? Motorcycles, restaurant bills, golf clubs, fancy clothing?
    I'm sorry.
    Ms West did wrong. But at the end of the day she was naught but a tool of this man who stole from the children you say he loved. And, yeah, It's pretty easy for a CM to have a director fired if they have oversite of their agency and can get other CMs on that committee to support the action. It's happened more than once.
    And in Thomas' case, it's clear he was motivated by personal enrichment, not by any legitimate performance metric, let alone by love of the children he pimped for his own personal enrichment.

  • Sick

    Whatever. I'm not going back and forth with you on your Thomas bashing because like I said he was an ass and got what he deserved. I will leave with this... SO WAS SHE! THATS who you should be harping on but nooooo. As usual, its not that bad of a crime for certain people. You sound like those people who cry about the police pulling them over for speeding when they should be out catching murderers.

  • drez

    I think we may disagree less than you imagine. For me it is a matter of emphasis. Thomas was the big fish in this.

  • Keeping It Real

    West was a pawn. Naive at worst. Anyone who has worked with her knows this. And unless they are jealous of her personal success and genuine integrity, they see this entire investigation of her "involvement" as a travesty and waste of taxpayers money. West has dedicated her life to the greater good... whether it be in her professional career, in her church, or in her community. She is the ultimate public servant and despite efforts to undermine her efforts and integrity, she will continue to thrive. Anyone who knows the FACTS should be ashamed if they say otherwise. Surely just another example of dirty DC politics. DC has lost one of its best. How many rats do you smell???

  • ……?

    all of you idiots make me laugh defending Fenty and Gray. They are both criminals as well as the cronies who follow them.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Emphasis, Schmemphasis, drez.

    If you have any shred of decency, the person you should ask prayers for is Ms. West. I don't know the lady, but I do know that she was caught in Machem's web. Rightly or wrongly. Just like Tom Gore who was entrapped by the wire wearing Howard Brooks. Similar to the hapless Kwame Brown who crime was much less egregious than Ms. West's or HJT's.

    But when I was in church yesterday I did pray for YOU.
    I asked that you be able to handle it if the West thing grows and your boi, Fenty and his cabal are exposed.

  • Keeping It Real

    No one here defending anyone else; least of all Fenty!

  • Pingback: Judgment day for Jim Graham

  • ToTheContrary

    The degree to which the law is broken is irrelevant. If you defend any measure of public malfeasance by elected and/or appointed officials you are part and parcel to what is wrong with this city. You are a selective enabler. Ron Machen made no such differentiation considering Ms. West WILL serve some time and WILL be fined. Notwithstanding her otherwise "dedicated" public service. He is making a point here.

  • commonsensecitizen

    so it does appear that she is continuing her work despite this reporting..

    westandassoc . com

    and also a blog on facebook with work she's being doing with sandy.. search: West and Associates, LLC

    this actually seems like it was a blessing in disquise.. this dc web works funny that way sometimes.

    i guess my only question would be is "why do so many of you on this looselips hate this woman?" saying she was unqualified, traitor.. etc etc.. I served in the military for 20 years and have a bachelors and several certifications in security..(the same with Ms. West).. is she a victim or a criminal? just saying.. can't the charge of "attempting to file a false return" an offense that WE all could get charged for? Not to mention, hundreds of organizations in the District? Wow, talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time and bottom lining documents.

    My staff calls me an arse but at the end of the day, the multiple checks that I do put me in the "hawk" or "micromanagement" arena, but at the end of the day, I'm not going to jail for none of these fools. Certainly, there is a cost to be the boss.

  • commonsensecitizen

    even the prosecutor said that "Millicent West was a great public servant"..

    I find that interesting.

    Why would a prosecutor go out of their way to make that case? This is some funny sht.

  • 30rockfan

    FACT: She would of been fired and whole different topic would emerge.

    She probably wouldn't be facing jail time.. but certainly wouldn't of helped her career.

  • johnnie

    funny thing is no one bothers to go back and do anything about all the money fenty stole from dc and issued to his friends frat brithers etc.

  • KeepIt100

    I think it is dreadful the double standard that many who post here have when it comes to politicians who were hired and worked for Adrian Fenty and those who work under Vincent Gray. To make excuses for any measure of ethical violations of a public servant because you LIKE them fuels an environment of tolerable malfeasance.

  • 30rockfan

    @KeepIt100

    As Keeping it Real stated.. no one is here defending anyone.. it's just a very sad situation. This mistakes sets her back to not even being able to vote in any election going forward. just saying.. just seems like Ron Machen didn't even want to punish her but only make an example or he's fishing for a bigger fish.. point is: you don't destroy someone and praise them at the same time, something he is doing at this point with the defendant.

  • nowaitadaminit

    'Funny shit', "Fishy shit', it' all the same. Machem's praise for the convicted felon is defintely odd. How can he be so duplicitous? I'm sure if we look hard enough we can find some saving grace in almost all of the people caught up in the Machem web. If he doesn't point out the positive aspects of all he catches, then he shouldn't do so for any. Let's hope he is fishing for a bigger fish. Let's hope he's fishing for bigger fish(s). Let's hope Ms. West started her plea arrangement where and when her career began, under the aegis of Adrien Fenty, ergo, Peter Nickles.

    There is definitely something odd going on here. Perhaps what it is will be revealed as time goes on. What was perceived to be West's posts about herself under an assumed handle is indicative of a truly naive and sad soul. She reminds me of the sister in the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development's Office during the Cheh hearings: Like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming tractor trailer.

  • truth hurts

    schizophrenic cyber stalker

  • commonsensecitizen

    @nowaitad

    are you assuming that I am Ms Williams-West? I would suspect that gender and my balding gray hair eliminates me from the usual suspects. Sorry and i apologize for the disappointment. However, I have been following this story from the beginning investigations into HJT to Danita and others and watch what I say, there should be a lot more web than what's seen right here. i wouldn't be surprised if they started going after every tax-exempt org that the trust funded...

  • nowaitadaminit

    No disappointment my fellow man. I too have a balding head of few gray strands. And no, I am by no means assuming you are Ms. West. I refer to some comments on this blog that were probably posted by Ms. West when the part she played in the criminal activity came to light.

    We'd better all watch what we say when you can become a convicted felon for misreprsenting your financial worth on a credit application. Just think of all the criminal activity that goes on in every city in the USA every day that is much more egregious than the collective charges this US Attorney has lodged against these poor Black souls.

    Wonder how many Assistant US Attorneys could face those charges if they were investigated?

  • nowaitadaminit

    In case you don't go into the archives, th, I asked you a question. Just who is the cyberstalker here?

    And here is another question: Do you even know what a diagnosis of schizophrenia means?

    Let's stick to the facts here. Your games are very irrelevant. This stuff is much too serious for game playing.

  • ConcernedCitizen

    Harry Thomas Jr. and anyone else who conspired with him to steal are all equally guilty. West, as a public servant, had an obligation to perform her duties as the law, regulation, and the office required. What is so sick about all this is how incestuous politics, networking, you scratch my back/I scratch yours has become. Everyone is connected and that seems to be good to all these folks. Well, it causes all kinds to forget their obligations. Think about all the little illegal things that occur in this government daily; think about the unpleasant things done to people for the sake of getting ahead, etc. I commend Machen and Cohen. Those working for our government should remember that they are all public servants (not Lords of the Manor) and that government coffers are not their personal bank accounts. I am saddened about the state of affairs and have little hope of its improvement.

...