I would bet a good percentage of the US population thinks poorly of the men and women leading our nation. By that I mean they do not trust and respect the job our nation’s lawmakers are providing. Of course there are many honorable men and women up on Capitol Hill and in Washington DC City Council.
But it does seem like there are a lot of stories involving fraud and embezzlement coming out of government. It is bad enough that US Congressmen are bought and paid for by special interests, but to steal cash straight from the till.
The latest in the seemingly endless group of corrupt lawmakers is Harry Thomas Jr., a Councilman for the District of Columbia, was charged with stealing more than $350,000 in government funds and filing false tax returns.
The 51-year-old Democrat is facing two felony counts and appears to have the intention to plead guilty.
While all theft is wrong, this is especially sad because the funds he is accused of stealing had been earmarked for District of Columbia youth sports programs.
Thomas is a multi-time offender, and if convicted, needs to pay a severe punishment!
Previously he had been accused of spending the money on a luxury SUV, travel and rounds of golf and agreed to pay back $300,000 in a civil settlement with the attorney general, although he missed a scheduled $50,000 payment that was due last week.
In an everyone should pay their fair share, Thomas failed to report $356,000 in income between 2007 and 2009.
DC has had a rough year with numerous scandals, including Councilman Kwame Brown who siphoned more than $200K into the coffers of his brother. A campaign staffer of another official has been accused of giving cash and promising a government job to a minor mayoral candidate in exchange for that person's withering criticism of then-Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2010.
Thomas steered the money into a nonprofit that provides golf programs for youth. That group then paid most of the grant money to an organization under Thomas' control, known as Team Thomas.
Team Thomas was supposed to use the funds to provide youth sports programs. While the money was used to fund golf, it was not for Team Thomas, but for his travel expenses to exclusive golf courses including Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
DC has a long history with corrupt local politicians. It seems like only yesterday Mayor Marion Berry was cavorting with prostitutes and smoking meth!