Council Member Harry Thomas Settles Student Loan Suit
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UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011
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Washington D.C. council member Harry Thomas settled a lawsuit brought against him by the Justice Department for outstanding student loans of $16,000.
Acquired in 1983 and 1984, Thomas (D-Ward 5) had suit filed against him in 2005 for nearly $16,000 in student loan principal and interest along with another $4,000 for attorneys’ fees.
The fact that Thomas and the Justice Department entered into an agreement was announced this morning, but the details of that agreement have yet to be revealed. The only hint at what that agreement entailed came from Frederick D. Cooke Jr., Thomas’s attorney, who said he was “pleased with the agreement we reached with the government,” as reported by the Washington Post.
The agreement won’t be filed on the public court docket until next Monday.
Thomas has recently been involved in other legal trouble, as earlier this month federal agents raided his home in northern Washington. Thomas has allegedly used his position in power to divert more than $300,000 of public funds for youth sports to groups he personally supported.
The D.C. Attorney General, Irvin B. Nathan, accused Thomas of using that diverted money to fund an Audi SUV and personal trips to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Pebble Beach, California.
Thomas settled that dispute with the city by agreeing to repay all of the money, less interest and penalties, claiming he did nothing wrong but is only settling the suit since it is “in the best interest of the city,” as reported by the Washington Post.
Thomas’s attorney for the city funds suit, Karl A. Racine, confirmed that Thomas would continue to cooperate with authorities. He said in a short statement that “at the conclusion of this matter, we sincerely believe that there will be no finding of any criminal violations.”