Washington, D.C., Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. resigned from his post on Thursday evening after being charged with stealing more than $350,000 in government funds and filing a false tax return. Thomas gave the following statement to The Washington Post:
“I am resigning my position as a member of the Council effective immediately. I made some very serious mistakes and exhibited inadequate and flawed judgment. I take full responsibility for my actions. I am truly sorry.”
A plea hearing in the case has been scheduled for Friday morning before U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, the Post reports. Thomas said he would plead guilty to two federal crimes.
He is the first member of the D.C. Council to resign since the District’s home rule government was first seated, in 1975.
Two felony counts against Thomas were filed on Thursday in a detailed criminal information document with the U.S. District Court. The document does not specify what Thomas did with the alleged stolen funds, but the 51-year-old Democrat had previously been accused of spending the money on a luxury SUV, travel and rounds of golf.
The tax return charge accuses Thomas of failing to report $356,000 in income between 2007 and 2009. In a civil settlement with the District of Columbia attorney general, he agreed to pay back $300,000, but on Tuesday he missed a scheduled $50,000 payment of that agreement.
Last month, federal agents raided Thomas’s home where they seized an SUV and motorcycle that Thomas was ordered to forfeit.
In the District of Columbia, Thomas would be allowed to continue serving until he goes to prison, but he may not have that luxury if he pleads guilty to charges related to the misuse of city funds.
The type of document filed in Thomas's case typically indicates a defendant intends to plead guilty.
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(Photo: Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times/Landov)