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Harry Thomas Jr.‘s legal team says the U.S. Attorney’s Office is presenting an “unjustified caricature” of the disgraced former Ward 5 councilmember, whose sentencing is set for Thursday.

In court records filed last Friday, both Thomas’ legal team and the feds made their respective cases as to how long Thomas should spend in prison. The feds want 46 months, Thomas wants 18 months.

On Tuesday, Thomas’ legal team filed a sharply worded rebuttal, saying the feds are unfairly belittling Thomas’ “unique record of public service.” [You may insert your own “unique” joke here.]

Sayeth Thomas’ lawyers:

The government proceeds to turn a blind eye to the true significance of Mr. Thomas’ community service. Rather than crediting Mr. Thomas for guiding and mentoring numerous youth, including youth in underserved communities, the government suggests that Mr. Thomas is nothing more than a “sports enthusiast” whose good works have been limited to “encouraging youth to participate in sports and organizing youth sporting events.” … If Mr. Thomas were merely a “sports enthusiast” and not a mentor, he would not be “Coach Tommy,” the name by which so many people know him.

Thomas’ lawyers go on to argue that their client deserves some credit for organizing youth sporting events that benefited the city’s youth, even if he did ultimately use those events as a way of covering up his theft of city funds.

You can read the whole thing here:

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Photo by Darrow Montgomery