The Washington Times - July 18, 2011, 01:28PM

A prominent D.C. attorney says he will file an answer within days to a lawsuit alleging council member Harry Thomas Jr. siphoned off more than $300,000 in public funds earmarked for youth baseball.

Frederick Cooke Jr. said the document will be done by Friday, and not filed Monday as had been widely expected.
The response papers, a routine part of the process in civil courts, is the next tangible step in the suit filed by D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan on June 6. A scheduling conference is scheduled for Sept. 9 in the Superior Court.

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The civil complaint accused Mr. Thomas of using his oversight powers to shuffle funds their designated uses to his for-profit and non-profit entities, using the money toward trips and a luxury Audi sport utility vehicle.

The suit prompted Mr. Thomas to step aside from chairing the Committee on Economic Development, precipitating a shake-up of committee assignments that caused political controversy at the John A. Wilson Building just days before the council’s summer recess.