Former D.C. Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. was sentenced to 38 months behind bars Thursday for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds earmarked for youth sports programs.
He was also sentenced to 36 months probation.
Before he was sentenced, Thomas told the court Thursday that he "humiliated his wife and his children" when he embezzled more than $350,000 from the District.
Testifying in his own defense during his sentencing hearing, Thomas’ apologized for his actions after his nephew, mother and friend took the stand as well.
Prosecutors said that the judge needed to impose a 46 month sentence to send a strong message to other public officials. The defense wanted 18 months and six months home detention with 1500 hours community service.
During his statement, Thomas said there is "no excuse for my poor decisions I made...what I did was wrong and I broke the law... I humiliated my wife and my children.”
Thomas’ sentencing is centered on how much time he’ll spend in prison for stealing more than $350,000 in government funds that was supposed to go to youth sports programs in the city.
Thomas pleaded guilty in January to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly from money earmarked for youth baseball programs. Thomas had been a longtime advocate for youth sports.
Thomas had been on the D.C. Council since 2006. He resigned in January after these charges were filed.
His sentencing comes amid ongoing federal investigations into the use of funds in the political campaigns of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown.
That didn't stop Brown from issuing the following statement:
“Today’s sentencing is the final step in holding Mr. Thomas accountable to the people of the District. There is no excuse for violating the trust of public office, and I know I join many in our community in expressing our continued sadness for his use of the office of Councilmember and the taxpayers of the District of Columbia for his personal gain. My prayers are with the entire Thomas family."