D.C.

Ayawna Webster pleads guilty to using public funds to pay for inaugural ball

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An ex-staffer for disgraced former D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas has pleaded guilty to a tax violation for allegedly using public money for an inaugural ball.

Ayawna Webster, 36, pleaded guilty to attempting to interfere with the administration of the IRS. Authorities say Webster used about $110,000 earmarked for a youth sports program to pay for Thomas’ 2009 inaugural ball.

She also covered up tax filings for two year to hide where the money went, authorities says.

“Today Ayawna Webster became the sixth person to plead guilty as part of the investigation of her former boss, Council Member Harry Thomas, Jr.,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen in a statement. “Her guilty plea is another reminder of the foolishness of going along with criminal schemes to placate corrupt public officials. This investigation is continuing.”

Thomas resigned in 2012 after being charged with embezzlement. He later pleaded guilty.

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