- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - A former District of Columbia government official who helped channel $110,000 in youth drug prevention grant funds to instead pay for an inaugural ball has been sentenced to repay the money and serve 36 days in jail over 12 weekends.

Neil Rodgers was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington. A jury found Rodgers guilty of fraud in March.

Rodgers served as director for the D.C. Council’s committee on libraries, parks, recreation and planning. Prosecutors say Rodgers worked with former Council member Harry Thomas Jr. to illegally secure the money for the 2009 ball. In 2012, Thomas pleaded guilty to embezzling $350,000 in city funds and resigned. He was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison.

Rodgers’ attorney, Billy Martin, says his client maintains he is innocent and is appealing.

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