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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Neil Godleski

Victim's family redirects DYRS lawsuit

The family of a Catholic University student who was fatally shot while bicycling through the Petworth area in 2010 has dropped the District and its juvenile justice agency from a lawsuit that had accused the city of failing to supervise the 16-year-old murder suspect committed to its custody. Published January 22, 2012

13 candidates seek to fill Thomas' D.C. Council seat

A string of Ward 5 hopefuls picked up paperwork on Friday as part of the race to replace former council member Harry Thomas Jr. in a special election on May 15, less than two weeks after the ousted legislator is scheduled to be sentenced for theft and tax fraud involving public funds. Published January 20, 2012

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., 51, speaks with reporters Jan. 6, 2012, outside the U.S. District Courthouse in D.C., after pleading guilty to felony counts of stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer funds and failing to report income on his tax returns. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

D.C. foundation principal pleads guilty in Thomas case

The manager of a Ward 5 golf course admitted on Wednesday he allowed former council member Harry Thomas Jr. to use his nonprofit as a conduit for a scheme that bilked more than $300,000 from the District. Published January 18, 2012

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., 51, speaks with reporters Jan. 6, 2012, outside the U.S. District Courthouse in D.C., after pleading guilty to felony counts of stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer funds and failing to report income on his tax returns. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Another guilty plea in D.C. public corruption case

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged a second person accused of serving as a pass-through for public funds that former council member Harry Thomas Jr. stole for his personal use. Published January 17, 2012

Vincent B. Orange (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council reaches compromise on medical marijuana facilities

The D.C. Council struck a deal on Tuesday to avoid the clustering of medical marijuana facilities in a single part of the city, grandfathering in applicants who got preliminary approval to grow the drug in Ward 5 but potentially altering the plans of companies who hoped to join them in the industrial slice of Northeast. Published January 17, 2012

Vincent B. Orange (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Ward 5 needs rise with Thomas' fall

Less than two weeks after Harry Thomas Jr. stepped gave up his Ward 5 seat on the D.C. Council and pleaded guilty to stealing District funds, the saturation of medical marijuana centers and other issues in his Northeast ward will take center stage at the first legislative session without him. Published January 16, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Gray releases records for funding of D.C. transition

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has released a long-awaited record of the funds he raised and spent for his transition into office last year, revealing more than $30,000 in payments to the Maryland man at the center of an investigation into Mr. Gray's campaign activities. Published January 15, 2012

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., 51, speaks with reporters Jan. 6, 2012, outside the U.S. District Courthouse in D.C., after pleading guilty to felony counts of stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer funds and failing to report income on his tax returns. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Thomas associate admits role in D.C. lawmaker's theft

The director of a golf-oriented nonprofit in Northeast D.C. admitted in federal court on Friday that he failed to disclose his role as a pass-through for public funds stolen by former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. from 2007 to 2009. Published January 13, 2012

Occupy D.C. activist John Zangas, of the District, Monday replaces artwork torn down by police at the McPherson Square encampment in Northwest. Mr. Zangas says he has been part of the encampment since it began in October and has talked to many people he wouldn't have met otherwise. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray wants Occupy D.C. out of McPherson Square

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is pressuring federal park officials to address the Occupy D.C. encampment in McPherson Square, suggesting protesters should "at a minimum" be consolidated with an anti-war camp on Freedom Plaza "for elimination of the rat infestation, clean up and restoration" of the downtown park. Published January 13, 2012

Foundation chief linked to Thomas faces charges

A key figure in the corruption probe of former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. has been formally accused of failing to report that city funds were being stolen in 2008 and 2009. Published January 12, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray faces a recall attempt initiated by a D.C. resident who says he is ready to hit the pavement. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Activists begin recall effort against D.C. mayor, council chairman

Political activists filed paperwork on Wednesday to begin a recall effort against D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and council Chairman Kwame R. Brown, asserting that well-publicized missteps in the early months of each official's term amount to "breaches of office through unethical behavior." Published January 11, 2012

D.C. Council's New Hampshire trip postponed

Citing up to 6 inches of snow in their forecast, state legislators in New Hampshire canceled a Thursday hearing in which Mayor Vincent C. Gray and several council members were slated to testify on a resolution in support of D.C. statehood. Published January 11, 2012

Chancellor Kaya Henderson said scorecards for the District's traditional public schools build on the "profiles" released last year and serve as a likely precursor to an accountability ranking or rating. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. school scorecards posted online

D.C. Public Schools released scorecards Tuesday that grade 119 campuses on safety, student progress and other measures, allowing parents to decide where to send their children in a system attempting to rise above past failures. Published January 10, 2012

Montel Williams (Associated Press)

Medical marijuana approvals clustered in Ward 5

Before he resigned and admitted to stealing $350,000 from the District, former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. expressed concern that much of the city's medical marijuana cultivation would take place in a small slice of his Northeast ward. Published January 9, 2012

Embattled D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., 51, speaks to the press, where he pled guilty before District Judge John D. Bates in U.S. District Court for the District, in Washington D.C., to stealing $353,000 from youth baseball programs from April 2007 to February 2009 and failing to report a total of $346,00 in additional income on three successive tax returns, Friday, January 6, 2012. It was the first time a sitting D.C. council member has been charged with a felony. Mr. Thomas resigned from office on Thursday Evening. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Thomas' guilty plea months in the making

U.S. Attorney Ron Machen had for months heard the public's cry for him to say whether D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. indeed had stolen from city taxpayers. Published January 8, 2012

**FILE** Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council member Thomas pleads guilty

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to felony counts of stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer funds and failing to report income on his tax returns. Published January 6, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council member Thomas resigns, will plead guilty

Embattled D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. on Thursday evening resigned from office and said he will plead guilty in the morning to two federal charges of stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer funds and failing to report income on his tax returns. Published January 5, 2012

**FILE** D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Embattled Thomas skips D.C. Council meeting

The D.C. Council's first legislative session of 2012 was overshadowed Wednesday by the conspicuous absence of Harry Thomas Jr., whose empty seat fueled speculation of an imminent plea deal on accusations that he spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on himself. Published January 4, 2012