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May 15 Special Election for Council Vacancy

1/18/2012, 10:02 a.m.

A May 15 special election will be held for the seat that was recently vacated by former Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr. Thomas, 51, resigned Jan. 5, one day before pleading guilty in U. S. District Court of embezzling more than $350,000 of public funds and filing false tax returns. The vacancy that now exists on the 13-member governing body was formally declared Jan. 17 by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

According to statements from DOEE chairwoman Deborah Nichols, the special election will cost about $318,000.

Meanwhile, Thomas who made a deal with prosecutors and awaits sentencing in early May, could spend just over three years in prison. "I made some very serious mistakes and exhibited inadequate and flawed judgment,"

Thomas wrote in his resignation letter that in addition to exhibiting poor judgment, he had made serious mistakes.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I am truly sorry," he wrote.