Former D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. was sentenced to more than three years in prison Thursday for stealing $353,500 from a public fund intended for youth sports, the Washington Examiner reports.
“Thomas, who represented Ward 5 for five years until he resigned in January as part of his guilty plea, was allowed to leave court with his family and has agreed to surrender at a federal prison to serve his 38-month term when ordered,” the report adds.
“This is my weakest moment in my life,” Thomas, 51, told U.S. District Court Judge John Bates.
“I concluded I took that money because there was a sense of entitlement,” he added. “What happened, clearly, was I took office and lost touch with the values I cling to now more than ever.”
DC Mayor Vincent Gray issued a statement saying he was satisfied with the ruling and that the city should move forward. However, one lawmaker thinks the fight against corruption is far from over.
“This is nothing new — it is a reminder,” said at-large Councilman Phil Mendelson. “To me, it’s more about reminding us that there are ethical issues in the government and our people do steal.”
And in case you were wondering what a corrupt city official would buy with over $300K, the Washington City Paper has you covered.
“As part of the exhibits filed by the U.S. Attorney‘s Office in today’s sentencing…we learn a little bit more about where the disgraced former Ward 5 councilmember spent more than $350,000 of public money he stole,” Washington City Paper reports.
“For instance, when Thomas bought a $22,499 Victory motorcycle, he also spent more than $700 bucks on motorcycle apparel from a store in White Plains, Md,” the report adds.
Included in his “motorcycle apparel” purchases were:
- A leather shirt: $149.99
- Chaps: $89.99 (…chaps were, indeed, made of leather)
- Novelty “Eagle” hat: $39.95
- “Boss” leather jacket: $359.99
Thomas also spent $910 at perfume store and $2,127.18 at Circuit City.
But perhaps the most perplexing thing about the case against Thomas is the fact that he dropped $1,374 on three pairs of “exotic shoes.”
“What the hell are exotic shoes!?” Washington City Paper asks.
Although there aren’t any specific details as to the type of shoes he purchased, given the fact that he’s apparently into leather chaps and shirts, we’ll assume the shoes were also made of leather.
“Thomas also received a 36-month prison sentence for lying on his tax returns, but Thomas will serve that term while he’s incarcerated for the theft,” the Examiner reports. “He will be under supervised release after his prison term.”
Here are Thomas’ receipts (via Scribd):
Here is Govt Sentencing Memo:
Front page photo source: Washington Examiner