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The D.C. elections board has received Harry Thomas Jr.’s letter of resignation from the D.C. Council, clearing the way for a special election to replace the Ward 5 Democrat on May 15.

Mr. Thomas announced his resignation last week after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds and filing false tax returns.

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown forwarded Mr. Thomas’ resignation letter Tuesday to the Board of Elections and Ethics. The board has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday to certify that the council seat is vacant. That will trigger an election on May 15 under D.C. law.

Candidates to replace Mr. Thomas can be from any party. The winner would serve out the remainder of Mr. Thomas’ term, which runs through 2014.

— Associated Press