It looks like only two people will do jail time for the thefts engineered by former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. In court papers filed last week, prosecutors ask for probation for Ayawna Chase Webster, who helped Thomas turn anti-drug grants into party funds.
Webster, Thomas’ former chief of staff, plead guilty in 2013 for filing a false tax return as the head of the D.C. Young Democrats. Webster needed the bogus tax return to cover up $104,500 in anti-drug money funneled to her group at Thomas’ direction to cover the tab for a blowout inaugural ball.
Despite Webster’s role in the theft, prosecutors want only 80 hours of community service and a year of probation. That’s because Webster was “fully cooperative” in the trial of Neil Rodgers, another Thomas aide who was sentenced to weekends in jail last month for his role in the ball scheme. Along with Thomas, Rodgers is the only person to receive incarceration in Thomas’ scandal.
“There were no other witnesses who could have testified had [Webster] not cooperated,” the motion reads.
Webster likely won’t receive jail time, but she won’t get out totally unscathed. In March, Webster left a top job in the Muriel Bowser administration after LL started asking questions about it.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery