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Second Non-Profit Leader Pleads Guilty in Harry Thomas Jr. Fallout

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Garvin pleads guilty to felony charge in investigation involving misuse of $392,000 grant money. (Published Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012)

    A second leader of a non-profit organization has pleaded guilty in connection with the corruption case of former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr.

    Earlier this month, Thomas pleaded guilty to embezzlement of federal funds and filing a false tax return. Thomas admitted misappropriating for his own use grant money for youth activities. Thomas used the money for personal expenses, buying an expensive motorcycle and SUV.

    Today, 55-year-old James Garvin pleaded guilty in connection with the misuse of federal money that was diverted to Team Thomas and HLT Development -- organizations controlled by Thomas.

    Garvin was the general manager of Langston Golf Course and was on the board of Langston in the 21st Century Foundation, a non-profit organization that operated youth programs. In 2008 and 2009, Langston 21 received $392,000 for youth programs. Most of the money -- $306,000 -- went to Thomas.

    The charge against Garvin is misprision of a felony concealing the theft of federal grants. On Jan. 13, Marshall Banks, the founder and director of Langston 21 and a Howard University professor pleaded guilty to the same charge.

    Garvin has pledged to cooperate with investigators. He had no comment as he left the courthouse. His lawyer indicates Garvin wants to speak when it’s appropriate.

    "Once we get past where we are right now, we will have a lot to say about that, and I think it will be very illuminating," said his lawyer, Vandy Jamison Jr.

    Dorothy Brizill, an activist who monitors D.C. government activities, is worried about the impact this is

    "What are we saying to young people when we tell them to stay in school, we tell them not to lie, we tell them not to steal, and the people who are their coaches, the people they are supposed to look up too did that very thing?” she said.

    Sentencing for Garvin has not been set, the Associated Press reported, but attorneys agreed to a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.