- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2007

Prince George’s County school board member Nathaniel B. Thomas resigned yesterday, one day after a county grand jury indicted him on a felony sex-offense charge for having sex with a 15-year-old male student.

The board also accused Mr. Thomas, 26, of having inappropriate relationships with two other male students and last month asked the Maryland State Board of Education to expel him for “immorality and misconduct in office.”

A letter from his attorneys, delivered to the board late yesterday afternoon, said the charges were distracting from the work of the board.

“He does not wish to do anything which serves to undermine or erode the confidence and trust that the citizens of Prince George’s County must vest in the local Board of Education,” the letter said.

His attorney, Bruce L. Marcus, declined to comment further.

County Executive Jack B. Johnson will appoint a replacement for Mr. Thomas, who was elected in November. The County Council must confirm the appointment.

Mr. Thomas had been scheduled for a public hearing with the state board later this month to contest his removal.

John White, a spokesman for the school system, said the board was relieved.

“Obviously, they were very much saddened and angered when this all began, so now that he has submitted his resignation, they do feel that there is some measure of closure, and they can get back to school business,” he said.

The school board and police began investigating Mr. Thomas in April in the wake of reports that he took an 18-year-old Forestville Military Academy student to a conference in San Francisco without the permission of the youth”s parents.

That investigation led to the third-degree sex-offense charge involving sex with the 15-year-old student, who is now 17, in 2004 and 2005.

Mr. Thomas was the student”s teacher. He taught at Forestville from August 2003 to December 2004, when he resigned after parents protested that he acted inappropriately with their children, according to an investigative report released by the board.

Those complaints were never registered in his personnel file.

The report also said that Mr. Thomas invited the 18-year-old student and the student member of the school board to his house, gave them alcohol and played sexually suggestive games with them.

He likely will face trial in early fall. If convicted, he could spend up to 10 years in prison and would have to put his name on the state”s sex-offenders registry.