Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., shown here on the left at a D.C. Council meeting in December.
Add former council member Harry Thomas Jr. to the list of local politicians that received a batch of money orders from Jeffrey Thompson's network of donors.
Federal authorities continue to probe the campaign finance practices of Thompson, one of D.C.'s most prolific donors and a top government contractor. Now, it appears there are connections between Thompson and Thomas, who in January pleaded guilty to stealing city funds marked for a youth sports program.
Council member Vincent Orange admits he received suspicious money orders tied Thompson; D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign records also show connections to the donor. But Thomas may stand out for being the only politician to receive Thompson donations after his race had wrapped up.
Thomas received a bundle of large money orders from donors linked to Jeffrey Thompson on Nov. 5, 2010, city records show; that's three days after the former council member won his general election race with 85 percent of the vote.
These donations, plus another handful on money orders that came in on Election Day, were all made out in the maximum amount allowed under D.C.'s campaign finance laws and they all appear linked to Thompson in one way or another. Some are associates, others are connected companies
Many of these names and firms also appear on a list of suspicious money orders that Council member Vincent Orange received in 2011 from the Thompson network. According to Orange, some of the money orders he received had nearly identical signatures and sequential serial numbers, raising concerns about straw donations being used to skirt contribution limits.
Money orders are a legal form of campaign contributions. Because of the recent controversies, however, the D.C. Council is considering legislation to cap these donations at $25.
The timing of the money orders made out to Thomas is also interesting. On Nov. 2, 2010 (Election Day), Thomas received two $500 money orders from Thompson-connected companies: One from JT Real Estate Holdings, the other from Euclid Street Partners, city records show. On that same day, Vincent Gray's mayoral campaign reported at total of eight $500 money orders from these same two companies.
Thompson, whose home and office were raided by federal authorities in February, has not been charged with any wrongdoing. The Washington Post reported yesterday he is resigning from his healthcare company and has already stepped down from his accounting firm.
Federal investigators continue to probe Mayor Gray's 2010 campaign and former council member Thomas is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to embezzling $350,000 in city funds.Jeffrey Thompson-tied money orders donated to Harry Thomas Jr.