We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Harry Thomas Jr. Resigns
- What’s in Store for Ward 5
- Mayor Gray to HTJ: Step Down
- Prison Advice for HTJ from Other Elected Officials
Good morning sweet readers! No time for the funny. Just time for the only local news story that matters:
And Then There Were 12: With his back against the wall and his options dwindling, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. finally admitted last night what’s he’s been denying for more than a year: That he’s a thief who stole a shit ton of city money, beginning almost immediately after he took office. Thomas resigned last night, via a statement sent by one of his lawyers. Says Thomas: “I made some very serious mistakes and exhibited inadequate and flawed judgment. I take full responsibility for my actions. I am truly sorry.” He continues: “It is through the efforts of individuals like my mother, a public school principal, and my father, who served as representative of Ward 5 with great distinction, that our community becomes great. It is this legacy of service that I hope to live up to again. Today I am taking the first step toward making things right.” Thomas is due in courtroom of U.S. District Judge John D. Bates at 11:15 a.m. to plead guilty to stealing more $353,000 in city money and filing false income tax returns.
- The Post notes: “Thomas is the first member of the D.C. Council to resign since the District’s home rule government was first seated, in 1975.”
- Harry Jaffe compares Thomas to his hardworking father. “Harry Thomas Sr. was a happy and humble man. There is little humility in Harry Jr. The boy had too much arrogance, and that’s what did him in.”
TWT clears things up, Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown did call for Thomas to resign.
- Speaking of Brown, the man was all over the late local news broadcasts last night condemning Thomas’ actions and promising to work to restore the public’s trust in the council. He tells Fox5 that Thomas told him he was resigning via a text message.
- As for his own federal investigation, Brown tells WUSA9 that he didn’t do anything wrong. What about his father and brother? “I don’t think so.”
- Sherwood leads off with a long clip of Thomas defending his integrity last summer.
- Oh look, CNN noticed.
- Fox5’s Brian Bolter wonders whether the District has “grown numb to the incompetence and now outright stealing by elected leaders?”
- The Post editorial page congratulates Tim Day, the Republican challenger who first started asking questions about Thomas’ non profit, itself for pursuing those questions and U.S. Attorney Ron Machen for not tolerating corruption. All well deserved. “No punishment can make up for the betrayal of the public trust inherent in these crimes.”
- Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh tells the AP she’s shocked by the “stark a breach of the public trust.”
- Here’s but a few of the names of possible candidates to replace Thomas in a special election. Others include, but are not limited to, Councilmember Michael Brown‘s aide Drew Hubbard, former candidate Kathy Henderson, megaphone-wielding former Gray appointee Robert Vinson Brannum, D.C. Democratic State Committee Chairman Anita Bonds, and probably a potted plant. Former National Organization for Marriage endorsee Delano Hunter sent out a statement mentioning his “pending candidacy” at 12:49 a.m. and another at 6:21 a.m. (Correction: This post originally misspelled Brannum’s name.)
Gray sked: 8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: D.C. Business Coalition Meeting; 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: D.C. Business Improvement District Council Annual Luncheon Renaissance Hotel.
Council sked: Brown presser TBD. Judiciary talks prison population and immigration detainers starting at noon.