Ex-DC councilmember pleads guilty to theft

By ERIC TUCKER | January 6, 2012 | 12:30 PM EST

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2011 file photo, FBI and IRS investigators seize a motorcycle from the house of Washington D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., in Washington. Authorities say Thomas has been charged with stealing more than $350,000 in government funds and filing false tax returns. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former D.C. councilmember has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds earmarked for youth sports programs.

Harry Thomas Jr. also admitted in federal court Friday to filing a false tax return.

He resigned Thursday night, just hours after being charged, and admitted to making "very serious mistakes."

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates set sentencing for May 3.

The allegations came to light last summer in a lawsuit against Thomas by the District of Columbia's attorney general. That lawsuit accused him of diverting money for youth sports programs for his personal benefit. Thomas has since agreed to pay back $300,000 in a settlement with the attorney general.

A special election is expected in coming months to fill Thomas's seat.