Former District Medicaid contractor Jeff Thompson illicitly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into District campaigns—including funding the 2010 shadow campaign to elect Vince Gray mayor—but he still doesn’t think he should see the inside of a prison cell. In sentencing papers filed today, Thompson asks that a judge sentence him to just community service and two years of probation.
If it seems like a lot of chutzpah to ask for probation after corrupting multiple District elections, at least Thompson says he’s sorry.
“I humbly seek forgiveness from the citizens of Washington, D.C.,” Thompson writes in a letter filed in court today.
Thompson pleaded guilty in March 2014, just weeks ahead of Gray’s re-election defeat in the primary, scoring a cushy plea deal that could see him sentenced to as little as six months house arrest. The investigation reportedly foundered on Thompson’s rumored sexual history, and Gray was never charged by the time prosecutors closed the investigation in December 2015.
Still, Thompson’s attorneys say in their sentencing memo that he “fully cooperated” with investigators. At one point, they write, Thompson met with a reluctant witness to introduce him to an FBI agent and convince him to cooperate.
Thompson’s sentencing memo comes with a hefty number of letters from people who have been helped by Thompson, along with his elderly mother speculating that she’ll die if he’s sent to prison.
Left unsaid in the letters praising Thompson’s charitable work, though, is how he got much of that money—by making illegal political contributions to ensure that his companies would continue to receive lucrative contracts, and allegedly by plundering his own company through vague contracts.
“Although he made a serious mistake I know that it was not to harm, but to help,” Union Temple Baptist Church pastor and Ward 8 political heavy Willie Wilson writes in one letter.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is set to deliver their own sentencing memo on Thompson later today. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 12.
Update, 4:00 p.m. : Prosecutors agree with Thompson’s defense attorneys that Thompson shouldn’t service prison time. In its own sentencing memo filed today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks for Thompson to receive six months of house arrest.
Justifying such a light sentence for someone whose offense is “difficult to overstate,” prosecutors list several people whose cooperation Thompson helped prosecutors charge, including former Gray chauffeur Mark Long, former Councilmember Michael Brown, and former Office of the City Administrator staffer Warren Graves.
But the sentencing memo also seems to confirm a Washington Post report that Thompson couldn’t be used at trial because of Thompson’s rumored sexual activities. The memo describes unproven but “arguably impeaching evidence” about Thompson.
“[Prosecutors] determined that it would not sponsor Mr. Thompson as a trial witness given its inability to discredit some of the most serious allegations related to his other conduct,” prosecutors write.