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Former Ward 5 Councilmember and current federal prison inmate Harry Thomas Jr. is now officially $80,000 plus interest behind on his $300,000 payment plan with the District government.
Thomas, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing more than $350,000 in city funds, was supposed to make a $50,000 payment at the end of June. He reported to federal prison, where he’s been sentenced to spend three years, about a week before that payment was due.
Thomas agreed last summer to a $50,000-every-six-months payment plan as part of a settlement to a civil lawsuit. That was before his criminal legal troubles began. D.C. Office of the Attorney General spokesman Ted Gest says the city has informed Thomas that he’s now in default for the June payment and continues to be $30,000 short on the payment that was due at the beginning of this year.
In April, the OAG’s office deposed Thomas to get details about his financial situation and his ability to pay the settlement, a transcript of which LL obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. During the deposition, Thomas makes clear what everyone already knows: that a man sitting in prison doesn’t have a whole lot of options when it comes to raising money.
Q: And do you have any current plan or current intention to make an additional payment in the next, within the next couple of months on your debt to the District Government?
A. Depending on my circumstances, if I have the ability to do so, I will.
Q. But you don’t have any specific intention at this point?
A. If I have the ability to do so, I will. I mean, that is about as specific as I can be on it.
Other tidbits from the deposition: Thomas says he traded in the $70,000 2008 Audi SUV he purchased with stolen city funds for about $20,000, which he used to buy another SUV that was seized by the feds. And had he not been forced to resign as a councilmember and sent to prison, Thomas’ plan to pay off the city included “probably [trying] to refinance and do some different things.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery