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After nearly taking a fight over his documents all the way to the Supreme Court, it should be no surprise that confessed shadow campaign financier Jeff Thompson knows how to hold up a criminal case. But now, according to court papers filed against the one-time District mega-contractor, Thompson is prolonging a civil case against him, too.
In May 2013, Thompson’s former Medicaid contractor Chartered sued him. In its lawsuit, Chartered, now held under receivership by the District, alleges that Thompson and his holding company plundered Chartered in a variety of novel ways, from taking out a loan that used Chartered as collateral to setting up bogus contracts between Chartered and other companies controlled by Thompson.
The lawsuit represents the best chance for Chartered to recoup $17 million it says Thompson and his holding company made off with. The case could also help shed more light on the prominent crook’s relationship with the District government. There’s one problem, though—the lawsuit is taking forever.
In the nearly three years since Chartered sued Thompson, he’s pleaded guilty to organizing illicit shadow campaigns to support several District pols (including ex-Mayor Vince Gray). Thompson has tried to countersue the District for allegedly stealing away his company.
The civil case has taken so long that Thompson could finally do some prison time (or at least house arrest) in his criminal case, with his sentencing hearing set for June.
Part of the delay lies with Thompson, who still hasn’t sat for a deposition. In court documents filed last November, Chartered’s attorneys ask for sanctions from the court to compel Thompson to appear at a deposition. That came after Thompson failed to show up for a scheduled deposition, leading his would-be interrogators, sitting in an otherwise empty room, to just read his absence into the record.
Since then, Thompson still hasn’t been deposed. Chartered’s attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Thompson attorney Deborah Israel say it’s not his fault.
Israel blames the deposition delay on Chartered’s rehabilitation, which she says has failed to provide necessary documents in discovery. “We view this as an issue of fundamental fairness,” Israel says.
No documents means no deposition. So Thompson will be deposed eventually—but as usual, on his own time.
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Photo by Darrow Montgomery