We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Oh look, another alleged misuse of city funds involving a Lincoln Navigator.
Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a grand jury indictment against Keely Thompson Jr. and his wife Biance Thompson. The move comes almost two years after the feds first filed a criminal complaint against Thompson for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 in city funds and using them to go gambling in Atlantic City and take cruises to the Caribbean.
Thompson was supposed to be using public funds to run a boxing gym to help the city’s youth stay away from gangs. Thompson frequently turned to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham for help dealing with the District’s bureaucracy or to secure funding. In 2004, Thompson told the Post that Graham helped him get the funding to open up a boxing gym in Columbia Heights. Graham did not immediately respond to a request for comment and has been coy in the past about his relationship with Thompson.
Part of those funds, according to the feds, came from the embattled Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, the same nonprofit that current federal inmate and disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. (who a little bird tells LL is celebrating his birthday today) used to steal more than $350,000 to buy himself an Audi SUV and go golfing.
Court records indicate that after Thompson was charged, he hired attorney Fred Cooke Jr. (who else?) and began negotiating a plea agreement. Cooke, who represented Thomas, too, had to drop out as Thompson’s lawyer citing a potential conflict of interest, the feds note in court records. They also say that subsequent attempts to reach a plea deal have failed. Cooke didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Thompson’s current lawyer declined to comment.
Prosecutors say in court records that they had to dismiss the initial charge filed against Thompson two years ago because they missed a deadline related to the Speedy Trial Act, but that Thompson’s rights weren’t violated and he knew an indictment was coming.
The indictment has several more allegations of misspent public funds than the complaint filed two years ago. And that brings us back to the Lincoln Navigator. The indictment alleges that Thompson and his wife used public funds to pay for a lease on a 2008 Navigator and a 2005 BMW. (Thompson’s Naviagtor lease appears to be $1,087 a month, far less than the $2,000 the city pays for those used by elected officials.) Other things Thompson and his wife allegedly misspent money on: legal fees related to an assault charge; $18,500 for furniture in their Maryland home; and “black-tie galas” that were “purported” to be fundraisers for the boxing gym but were “primarily social gatherings” for Thompson and his buds.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery