May 15 likely date for D.C. council special election to replace Harry Thomas Jr.

WASHINGTON (AP) - May 15 is the likely date for a special election to replace D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.

Thomas, a Ward 5 Democrat, announced his resignation last week after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds and filing false tax returns.

Alysoun McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the district's Board of Elections and Ethics, says the board has yet to receive a formal resignation letter from Thomas. That means the board likely won't declare the seat vacant until early next week, which would trigger a May 15 election under district law.

The winner would serve out the remainder of Thomas' term, which runs through 2014. Candidates would have to collect 500 signatures. They can be from any party, and their party affiliation will appear on the ballot.