Thomas Prefers Incarceration in Florida or Alabama

5/3/2012, 5:12 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have recommended that former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. spend nearly four years in prison for converting public funds to his personal use.

Thomas, 51, vacated his Ward 5 Council post in January after admitting in court that he embezzled more than $350,000. The money had been earmarked for youth sports programs.

Thomas, who had just entered his second term in office, also admitted to filing false tax returns. At that time, was sentenced to 38 months in prison, and during proceedings Thursday in U. S. District Court, the embattled father of two asked to be incarcerated in either Florida or Alabama.

Thomas' mother Romaine Thomas, who attended the May 3 hearing, reportedly pleaded with Judge John D. Bates for mercy and leniency on behalf of their family -- particularly his young children.

Meanwhile, in spite of a 46-month prison term sought by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen, Thomas' legal team has asked for a sentence of 18 months.

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