We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
One of the mysteries of the Harry Thomas Jr. case: Who are the two unnamed organizations that court records indicate gave Thomas kickbacks on city grant money?
According to the statement of offense that Thomas swore was true, one unnamed organization—referred to as ORGANIZATION #3 in court records—gave Thomas a $5,000 kickback on a $10,000 grant and also helped his scheme to use money set aside for “drug prevention and children at-risk” to pay for a party at the Wilson Building.
Court records show that ORGANIZATION #3 received a $10,000 check from the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation on Aug. 8, 2009, to pay for a “summer program.” The organization’s director, INDIVIDUAL #4 in court records, then gave Thomas’ for-profit company $5,000 at Thomas’ direction, court records show. Thomas “did not perform any services” for ORGANIZATION #3 that warranted the payment, the records say.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen won’t say who ORGANIZATION #3 or INDIVIDUAL #4 are, because the his office is continuing to investigate, and file charges, in connection with the case. But a source with knowledge of one of the transactions confirms to LL that the only organization that matches the facts described in the statement of offense is a nonprofit called Youth Technology Institute.
The statement of offense says INDIVIDUAL #4 “controlled and operated” that organization.Tax records indicate that Danita Doleman is the president of Youth Technology Institute. Doleman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
ORGANIZATION #3 was also involved in helping Thomas use CYITC funds to pay for the 51st State Inaugural Ball, according to records. Millicent West, the former head of the CYITC, told Thomas staffer Neil Rodgers that the trust would not cut a check to the D.C. Young Democrats to pay for the ball because it was a political organization, court records show. West told Rodgers to “change the name of the entity that would receive the funds,” records say. So Thomas contacted INDIVIDUAL #4 and requested that ORGANIZATION #3 “act as a pass through” for the inaugural funds. INDIVIDUAL #4 agreed, and the organization received a $110,000 check from the CYITC on February 5, court records show. The next day, at Thomas’ direction, INDIVIDUAL #4 wired more than $100,000 from ORGANIZATION #3 to the D.C. Young Democrats.
Doleman used to work as a $125,000-a-year senior policy manager at the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, whose director is the same Millicent West who used to run the CYITC.
West declined to comment about Doleman or her organization.
“I’d just rather not discuss the details with you,” she tells LL.
UPDATE (1/13/11): Federal court records indicate that Doleman was assigned a federal public defender on Nov 23, 2011. That attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE No 2: A source with knowledge of the case confirms that Doleman is indeed INDIVIDUAL #4.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery