D.C. Council Chair to Meet Privately With Embattled Council Member | NBC4 Washington

D.C. Council Chair to Meet Privately With Embattled Council Member

Council meets privately to discuss Harry Thomas Jr.

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    Embattled D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. didn't show up for a committee vote on sweeping ethics reform in the city. (Published Monday, Dec. 5, 2011)

    D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown will meet with a council member who's the subject of a federal criminal probe to share the concerns of his colleagues.

    The council met in private for about an hour Monday to discuss possible actions against Council member Harry Thomas Jr., whose home was searched by FBI and IRS agents for more than eight hours Friday. Thomas has been accused of diverting more than $300,000 in District funds for personal use.

    Brown said the council shared “ideas and suggestions” at Monday's meeting about possible action to take regarding Thomas. Brown, who is under investigation for spending related to his 2008 campaign, will meet with Thomas in private and present those options to him.

    There's not much the council can do to punish Thomas and there's no consensus, Council member Jack Evans said.

    Thomas was accused of using money earmarked for youth baseball in Ward 5 and charity groups to buy a luxury SUV and take expensive trips. D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan filed a civil suit against Thomas, which was settled when Thomas agreed to repay the $300,000.

    “Certainly if these allegations are proved true, it’s an outrageous breach of the public’s trust,” Council member Muriel Bowser said.

    Earlier Monday, a council committee approved new ethics legislation. Thomas did not show up for the committee vote.

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