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D.C. campaign finance office officially closes Thomas Jr. case

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Local,TV,Liz Farmer

Can we get a drum roll please?

The District's Office of Campaign Finance has released its findings on the activities of Harry Thomas Jr., the former councilman who resigned from his seat in January and pleaded guilty to two charges related to stealing money from the city.

The finding? None, really. The case was administratively closed because the key players had already pleaded guilty to the related charges and were cooperating with federal investigators.

"In view of the fact that Mr. Thomas and witnesses [Marshall] Banks and [James] Garvin are awaiting sentencing on felony convictions, there is no likelihood of them becoming available for hearings required for the adjudication of this matter," the report states. "Moreover, the Office of Campaign Finance presently lacks the authority to proceed with the investigation of alleged violations of the District of Columbia Conflict of Interest laws."

Thomas pleaded guilty on Jan. 6 to stealing more than $300,000 from the city in funds meant for youth sports camps. The plea could land him with up to four years in prison; his sentencing is scheduled for May.

According to prosecutors, Thomas approached Langston 21 founder Banks and Garvin about directing $400,000 in city grant money to the nonprofit to spend on youth baseball programs. Thomas said he needed a nonprofit to direct the money to his entities Team Thomas and HLT Development so that money could be spent in his Ward 5.

Ultimately, a fraction of that money actually went to the programs. Thomas successfully directed most of the money back to his pocket.

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