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Embattled Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. has been pretty quiet since since last week’s $300,000 settlement with the Office of Attorney General was announced. Thomas issued a statement after the settlement that failed to explain away any of the allegations made by the AG, including the charge that he surreptitiously steered an earmark for youth baseball programs into his own pockets and used the money to buy an Audi SUV.
Other than that statement, Thomas has kept pretty much mum. That failure to address the AG’s allegations is why three of his colleagues have called on him to resign.
Today the taciturn Thomas pushed back against those colleagues a bit, by way of a forwarded email from a constituent defending Thomas and praising his history of good work in his home ward.
“Don’t moral compasses point AWAY from… rushing to judgments? Away from spreading rumor, innuendo and hearsay? Away from demonization of political opponents with the politics of personal destruction? Away from kicking someone when they’re down?” reads the message, which Thomas sent along to councilmembers and various D.C. Council staff.
It continues: “Harry Thomas, Jr. is a native son of Ward 5. He has worked hard on its behalf—long before he became its top elected official. Most residents know that. And they are not about to forget all the good works Harry Thomas, Jr. has done for this ward, both publicly and privately.”
The email is a good indication of what Thomas’ political strategy will be moving forward: to rally his supporters by reminding them of his pedigree and past good deeds, while casting himself as a victim of politically motivated opponents.
The big question is how many of his supporters will be willing to look past the fact that Thomas has no answers when it comes to explaining why $300,000 in city funds were allegedly spent on the Audi, golf, and a meal at Hooters.
The full email Thomas sent is after the jump:
From a ward resident
Recently, sincere critics on the Ward5 listserv have questioned the
“moral compass” and “silence” of Harry Thomas, Jr., Ward 5 Democratic
Party leaders, even Ward 5 citizens, themselves. So I ask…
What moral compass does not point TO…
To due process?
To presumption of innocence?
To loving thy neighbor?
To the golden rule/ do unto others…?
Don’t moral compasses point AWAY from…
rushing to judgments?
Away from spreading rumor, innuendo and hearsay?
Away from demonization of political opponents with
the politics of personal destruction?
Away from kicking someone when they’re down?
These are important values and precepts which Ward 5 residents try to
live by, and strive mightily to raise their children by.
Residents (and their Democratic Party leaders) should not be vilified
for doing the right thing.
Harry Thomas, Jr. is a native son of Ward 5. He has worked hard on its
behalf — long before he became its top elected official. Most
residents know that. And they are not about to forget all the good
works Harry Thomas, Jr. has done for this ward, both publicly and
Like any family, Ward 5 is respecting its native son. They are
respecting his rights to due process and presumption of innocence.
Indeed, the “silence” some complain of, is this ward holding Harry
Thomas, Jr. close to their collective heart and hoping for the best, as
he has held his beloved ward close to his with the same hope.
And if, in the fullness of time (and due process), the ward determines
that Harry Thomas, Jr. has made a mistake, Ward 5 will deal with it
with same dignity, caring and respect it is trying to live its values
We all ought to feel good about living in such a place.
Ward 5 resident/