Deal in hand, Graham to continue Thomas probe

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Local,DC

Amid concerns that a D.C. Council investigation into the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp. could hamper other probes, Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham on Monday agreed to limit the scope of his review.

In a telephone interview with The Washington Examiner, Graham said he had reached a deal with D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan to maintain a narrow focus: the dismissal of CYITC chief Ellen London and two entities and activities associated with former Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr.

Graham said that with respect to Thomas, he'd only investigate Langston 21, a non-profit that Thomas acknowledged he used to help steal more than $353,000 in public dollars, and an event the then-legislator staged on the night of President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.

Graham, whose committee voted Friday to grant him subpoena authority, also agreed to consult with Nathan before forcing any witnesses to testify.

The deal came after Nathan and Mayor Vincent Gray said they were concerned Graham's probe would unintentionally interfere with other investigations into the corruption. The U.S. attorney has said his office's review is ongoing, and Nathan is also conducting an investigation.

Thomas, who resigned and pleaded guilty in January, will be sentenced on Thursday. Last week, prosecutors in a court filing urged a federal judge to give Thomas a 46-month prison term and probation. Thomas' own attorneys suggested a prison sentence of 18 months, along with a period of home confinement and probation.

Thomas has already entered into a deal to repay the city the stolen money, which had been earmarked for youth baseball programs.

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