Ex-D.C. official indicted for steering youth money to inaugural ball

Former D.C. Council staffer Neil Rodgers is accused of funneling federal money for an inaugural ball in 2009 at the John A. Wilson Building, also known as the District building. (Photo courtesy Wally Gobetz)

Former D.C. Council staffer Neil Rodgers is accused of using $110,000 in federal money meant for youth to pay for an inaugural ball in 2009 at the John A. Wilson Building, also known as the District building. (Photo courtesy Wally Gobetz)

A former District of Columbia official has been indicted funneling $110,000 in youth and drug prevention money to pay for a ball to help celebrate President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Neil S. Rodgers, 61, of D.C., served as the committee director of the council of the D.C.’s Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation and Planning, chaired by disgraced council member Harry Thomas Jr.

Rodgers was indicted on three felony charges, including one count each of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, wire fraud and first-degree fraud. Rodgers faxes a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges, according to prosecutors.

“Today’s indictment charges Neil Rodgers with stealing tax dollars meant for children to throw a $100,000 black-tie party for adults,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. “The results of this investigation are a reminder of the grave consequences for government employees and others who knowingly facilitate the illegal actions of corrupt elected officials.”

The prosecution is the final step in our investigation of the criminal activities of former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas, Jr., which has resulted in six guilty pleas.

Thomas is now serving a more than three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in January 2012 to charges stemming from a scheme in which he used more than $350,000 in taxpayers’ money that was earmarked for the arts, youth recreation, and summer programs for his own personal benefit, including paying for vehicles, clothing and trips.

 

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  1. Reblogged this on Brittius.com.

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