- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Millicent D. West, who recently found herself linked to the corruption investigation into former council member Harry Thomas Jr.’s theft of more than $350,000 from the District, has stepped down from her position as director of the city’s homeland security agency.

Ms. West resigned as director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday morning, a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray said.

The mayor’s office released a short resignation letter from Ms. West.

“Given the current distractions, I believe that this is the best decision for both my family and the District,” she said in the letter.

Ms. West has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but came under scrutiny for leading the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation for a part of the time during which Thomas siphoned off earmarked funds from the trust.

Specifically, court papers filed by federal prosecutors say Ms. West advised Thomas to find a non-political entity to receive funds that would ultimately pay for the 51st State Inaugural Ball in January 2009, because the D.C. Young Democrats would not be a proper pass-through.

The U.S. attorney said Thomas inappropriately used those funds to reimburse himself for costs associated with the ball.

In the days following Thomas‘ guilty plea, Mr. Gray said he did not want to jump to any conclusions about Ms. West’s involvement without due process and additional vetting of the facts.

Ms. West has said she did not do anything improper because the earmark was pitched as a suitable way to allow children to celebrate the historical inauguration of President Obama.

Earlier this month, she told The Washington Times that Thomas‘ false reports were “very troubling.”

“At no point did I anticipate that funds were going to be directed to any individuals for any services performed,” she said at the time.