Apparently stealing city money is easier than paying it back.
Disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. is still $30,000 short on the $50,000 payment he was supposed to cough up last December. The city’s Office of the Attorney General put out a news release this afternoon saying it had “secured” the $20,000 yesterday. Thomas agreed to pay the city $300,000 back last summer to settle a civil lawsuit, a debt that quickly became the least of his problems when the feds popped him with criminal charges at the beginning of this year. Thomas, who pleaded guilty, is due in court for sentencing in May.
So far, the city’s received $70,000 on the settlement. LL writes that last sentence in passive voice for a reason, since we don’t know whose money is actually covering Thomas’ debts. Last year, LL reported that the first $50,000 payment came in the form of a payment from Thomas’ lawyer, not the crook himself. Likewise, LL’s asked whose name was on the actual check/money order of this latest payment and will update when he hears back.
The AG avers in this news release that the city is no pushover and will be continuing to try to get what the District is lawfully owed, noting that there’s 4 percent interest per year on late payments.
After the jump, the AG’s full statement:
Pursuant to its civil settlement with former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. , the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on March 21, 2012 secured an additional payment of $20,000. This payment is in partial satisfaction of the $50,000 payment that was due from Mr. Thomas December 31, 2011, bringing to $70,000 the total amount paid by Mr. Thomas to date under the settlement. The settlement agreement requires Mr. Thomas to pay a total of $300,000 in six $50,000 installments ending in December 2013. The OAG will continue to pursue the District of Columbia’s rights as a judgment creditor in connection with the funds that Mr. Thomas owes the District government under the agreement, including 4 percent interest per year on late payments. These efforts will include seeking the proceeds of the forfeiture of Mr. Thomas’ vehicles previously seized by the federal government.
UPDATE (3/26/10): Ted Gest, a spokesman for the OAG writes that the most recent check came from Thomas’ attorney, Fred Cooke Jr., from Capital Bank in Rockville. “We cannot determine who signed the check or the source of the funds but we are determined to find out and are pursuing the matter,” Gest writes. A call to Cooke was not immediately returned.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery