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Harry Thomas Jr. Begins Incarceration

6/19/2012, 4:42 p.m.

As former Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr. prepared over the weekend to settle into a new home and identity at a federal compound in Alabama, the 51-year-old married father of a teenage son, acknowledged in an interview that he has been in prayer over fear of the unknown.

"God helps you conquer all obstacles," he was quoted as saying. "I talked about fear on Friday [during a gathering]. "If you don't acknowledge fear you'll be paralyzed."

Thomas, who fell from grace after admitting that he diverted $$353,000 of taxpayer money, meant for youth sports programs to his personal use, was scheduled to begin a 38-month incarceration this week at the Federal Prison Camp at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, where he will be known as inmate No. 31866-016.

During the brief interview, Thomas talked about visiting his father's grave at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, roasting marshmallows with his daughters and being surprised with a visit from an uncle. He also managed to infused bits of optimism and humor while reflecting on any job prospects that might await him after his sentence is served.

In doing so, he noted his role helping to bring the first Costco to D.C.

"It'll be open by the time I get home, when I'll be looking for a job," said Thomas.