A day after a former D.C. Council member was sentenced to prison, federal prosecutors say they're aggressively pursuing other allegations of corruption in the city government.
Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown are still under the microscope, and U.S. Attorney for the District Ronald Machen told the WAMU Politics Hour friday that the Harry Thomas Jr. case -- the former council member got 38 months in prison for massive theft -- is a warning to all public officials to act with integrity and honor and to expect to be held accountable for their actions..
Agents aggressively are pursuing year-old investigations into the campaigns of Gray and Brown.
“We feel an obligation to move quickly, but also carefully,” Machen said. “We know there's a sense of urgency. My office, my prosecutors are working very hard -- a lot of late nights, long weekends. But we have a very important job to do and we can only move forward once we examine all the facts.”
Brown and Gray both have denied wrongdoing.
Machen said the reality of prison has settled in for Thomas.
“If you spend a day in jail, one day is one day too many for most of us,” Machen said. “I think most individuals are frightened about that.”
There's no parole in the federal prison system. Harry Thomas Jr. will likely serve at least a full 30 months in prison, and he's expected to be told when and where to report to start serving that sentence within about 6 weeks.