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Posted at 01:41 PM ET, 07/23/2011

Cheh calls for Thomas to resign

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh said Saturday that her colleague, Harry Thomas Jr., should resign because it “will be very difficult for him to serve the residents” following his decision to settle a city lawsuit against him.
On Friday, Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan announced that Thomas (D-Ward 5) has agreed to  repay the District $300,000 to clear up allegations he diverted public funds from youth programs and used some of the money to pay for luxury cars and expensive trips. 
Thomas maintains he did nothing wrong, but he issued a statement saying he had settled the lawsuit “in the best interest of the city.”
But Cheh, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, said she plans to issue a statement Saturday afternoon urging Thomas to consider resigning from the council.  
Despite his claims of innocence, Cheh said, Thomas’s decision to settle “makes it appear he inappropriately diverted public money for his own benefit.”
“This implicit acknowledgement will make it very difficult for him to serve the residents of the District,” said Cheh, the president pro tempore of the council. “He needs to seriously consider stepping aside.”
Cheh becomes the second council member in less than 24 hours to suggest that Thomas should leave the 13-member body. On Friday, after the terms of the settlement were made public, Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) told reporters Thomas should resign. 
“By virtue of Friday's settlement, Council member Thomas has declined to offer a full accounting of his actions,” Catania said in a follow-up statement issued Saturday morning. “The residents of the District of Columbia deserve better.”

By  |  01:41 PM ET, 07/23/2011

Categories:  D.C. Council

 
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