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“Obviously, all of us are very sad and disturbed by this turn of events,” she said. “It certainly marks a new and ominous phase in this investigation.”

The council Friday afternoon indicated it would meet at 4 p.m. to discuss a “personnel” matter in private, but council Chairman Kwame R. Brown postponed the meeting until Monday.

Mr. Thomas is serving his second term representing Ward 5. His late father, Harry Thomas Sr., represented the ward for three terms. The council member had been under scrutiny largely over Team Thomas, a nonprofit he co-founded in 2000. The organization purportedly ran children’s sports programs until it was dissolved last December.

The attorney general's office said more than $300,000 in grant funds went to Langston 21st Century Foundation, a purported youth sports and education nonprofit, which is suspected of secretly giving most of the funds to Mr. Thomas through his nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Elmer Winters, who lives nearby to Mr. Thomas and was returning from the store Friday morning when he saw the activity, was taken aback at the law-enforcement presence.

“It looks like a murder crime scene,” he said. Told of the raid, he said Mr. Thomas was entitled to due process but that if investigators find any criminal wrongdoing against the council member, “he should be removed.”