Jeff Thompson Settles Real Estate Deal
Here's an update on a small sliver of the rapidly declining empire of Jeff Thompson, once one of the largest campaign contributors to local politicians who is at the center of a federal investigation of Mayor Vince Gray: Thompson has settled a year-long civil case and agreed to sell a Capitol Hill property that houses his longtime hair dresser's studio.
Charles Parsons, an attorney who first tried to buy the property from Thompson last year and then sued after he said Thompson improperly backed out of the deal, says via email that the official settlement will occur next week. "Jeffrey saw the light. He and I reached a settlement, and he is to sell the property to me for a nominal amount above the deal I thought he and I entered in February 2012," says Parsons. An online court docket also indicates that a settlement has been reached.
Thompson first listed the property at 300 15th St. SE for $700,000 in November 2011 as part of a sell-off of his D.C. properties. He rapidly dropped the price, and Parsons says Thompson agreed to sell the place for $385,000 in February 2012, a month before the feds raided Thompson's home and office. (Thompson's associate, Jeanne Clarke Harris, pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud last summer, including running a massive straw donor scheme used to hide the donations of an unnamed co-conspirator who people familiar with the case say is Thompson. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing. The Post reported yesterday that feds have finally gotten the green light to look through the records seized during last year's raids.) Since the raid, Thompson has sold his stake in the accounting firm he founded, and the District has taken control of and is in the midst of selling the Medicaid managed care organization Thompson has owned since 2000.
The Capitol Hill property is home to Ian's Hair Studio, whose owner Ian Thorne is Thompson's hair dresser and who campaign records show frequently donates to Thompson-backed candidates. During a deposition for the Parsons case, Thompson said a haircut, manicure, and pedicure at Ian's set him back $300 a pop. Parsons says when Thorne was deposed, he was represented by David Wilmot, one of the city's top paid lobbyist and an especially close associate of Thompson.*
*This post has been updated.
Screenshot courtesy of Charles Parsons