WASHINGTON -- Embattled District of Columbia Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) will resign from office and plead guilty to at least one felony charge, according to WUSA-TV/9 News and other media reports.
Thomas has been under scrutiny for months as his youth sports non-profit group, Team Thomas, has been investigated by federal authorities and the D.C. attorney general, who alleges that the councilmember diverted $300,000 in D.C. funds for personal use, including a SUV, golf trips and outings to Hooters.
Thomas's Northeast D.C. home was searched by federal investigators in December, but the councilmember was not arrested at the time.
It's not clear when Thomas will step down, but in an appearance on WTTG-TV/Fox 5 Wednesday morning, WTOP political analyst Mark Plotkin said that he expects the councilmember to leave office within 10 days.
WTOP reports that the "plea agreement with prosecutors is predicated on his resignation."
The Team Thomas allegations were first raised by the D.C. Republican Party during Thomas' 2010 re-election campaign. Wednesday morning, local GOP chairman Bob Kabel said Thomas' resignation is long overdue. "Mr. Thomas couldn't resign soon enough. He distorted the truth, defrauded the city he was elected to help & never took responsibility for his actions," Kabel said in a statement.
D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan sued the councilmember last June in the Team Thomas matter. After initially saying he would be vindicated, Thomas settled with Nathan. Although he would not admit guilt, Thomas agreed to pay back the money he was accused of diverting through Team Thomas.
As The Washington Post reports, Thomas missed a Tuesday deadline to pay back a portion of the money.
Thomas is the son of a three-term D.C. councilmember.
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