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Imprisoned former council member makes mystery trip to D.C.
Bureau of Prisons says Harry Thomas Jr. is ‘in transit’
Thomas, who pleaded guilty last year to stealing more than $350,000 in funds earmarked for youth sports programs, was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service on Oct. 7 in response to a court order requesting his presence, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said.
“I don’t have any comment on why he was here,” attorney Seth A. Rosenthal said.
Likewise, prosecutors and the U.S. Marshals Service were mum on the details.
A source close to a wide-ranging investigation into public corruption in the District said Thomas was brought to the U.S. attorney’s office Friday shackled and in a prison jumpsuit.
Thomas began serving his 38-month prison sentence at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Ala., in June. The Bureau of Prisons‘ inmate locator Monday listed the 53-year-old, whose birthday was Saturday, as “in transit.”
It’s unclear how long Thomas was in the District or where he was housed during his stay.
“A status of ‘in transit’ means that the inmate is being moved for any number of reasons,” U.S. Marshals spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue wrote in an email response to questions. “While the prisoner is in this status, for security reasons, the U.S. Marshals Service does not disclose location.”
No public filings have been made in Thomas‘ theft case since June, so it was also unclear whether his trip to the District involved his own case or other matters. It could not be determined whether it was the first time Thomas had been returned to the District. Federal investigations into public corruption and campaign finance violations at city hall are ongoing.
Prosecutors said he used his position to take the funds earmarked for youth sports through the Children’s Youth Investment Trust Corp. from 2007 to 2009.
At sentencing, federal officials described how Thomas funneled public funds through three organizations to fund a lavish lifestyle that included $19,000 for travel, $7,000 for clothes, $5,000 for meals, $23,745 for a Victory motorcycle and $58,575 toward an Audi sport utility vehicle.
Five others, including Thomas‘ former chief of staff Ayawna Webster, have also pleaded guilty for their roles in the misuse of public funds. Three of those, including Webster and Millicent West, the former head of the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust, have yet to be sentenced.
Thomas is due for release in March 2015.
⦁ Jeffrey Anderson contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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