Councilmember Thomas accused of misusing money
The District Attorney General is taking civil action against D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, who is accused of spending charitable money on person and campaign expenses.
Thomas is also accused of misusing $300,000 in taxpayer dollars.
The complaint says Thomas used $58,775.20 for a 2008 Audi Q7 4.2 SUV. He is also accused of using the money, travel expenses and a vacation to Pebble Beach.
Thomas denied the accusations during a press conference on Monday.
"There was no misuse of funds," he said.
He said "today is not the day" to answer specific questions but denied any wrongdoing.
The Attorney General is seeking a judgment over $1 million. The matter has also been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
In a statement, the U.S. Attorney's office said it's aware of the referral and "will review the information provided by the Office of the Attorney General as we continue our investigation into this matter."
Thomas could face both local and federal criminal charges.
Nathan: we are extremely disappointed in this violation of public trust.
Nathan: I think there is need for ethics reform in the DC Council.
Nathan: i want every penny of taxpayer money back.
Irvin Nathan, the D.C. Attorney General, says the violations were willful and knowing. The civil complaint says Thomas used $20,000 of charitable money for his own travel and entertainment. Some of the money Thomas allegedly diverted from charity was public taxpayer funds from a government earmark.
Nathan says he wouldn’t have referred to U.S. Attorney’s office if tax dollars weren’t used.
Nathan says Thomas declined to be interviewed under oath. Two others accused of being involved have agreed to repay about $80,000 and testify against Thomas. He added that no other D.C. employees were involved other than members of Thomas’ Council staff.
Nathan says he advised Mayor Vincent Gray of the findings ten days ago.
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