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Trust in Harry Thomas Jr. Case Questioned About Oversight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A D.C. agency may be abolished or face major reforms after failing to monitor thousands of dollars in grant money taken by a former D.C. councilman.

    At a D.C. Council hearing Monday, officials of the embattled Children and Youth Investment Trust said federal authorities had asked that some operations of the trust be avoided while the federal criminal probe continues.

    Former Council member Harry Thomas Jr. resigned when he pleaded guilty to two felonies in the theft of $300,000 in grant monies intended for youth programs. He likely faces a prison sentence of up to four years at sentencing May 3.

    Committee chairman Jim Graham of Ward 1 pressed the government trust fund on oversight of its more than $3 million budget. In past years when Thomas's diversions of money were occurring, the budget has been as high as $10 million.

    Graham read a series of internal emails that he said showed that top grant officials never questioned the large amounts of money flowing into organizations controlled by Thomas.

    At the crowded council hearing, youth advocates and parents said some summer and academic programs could be forced to close if the government funds aren't available.