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Lawyers accuse federal prosecutors of demeaning ex-D.C. councilman

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for an ex-D.C. councilman awaiting sentencing for corruption are accusing federal prosecutors of “stretching the facts” and making light of his positive contributions.

Harry Thomas Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Washington after admitting to embezzling more than $350,000 in government money earmarked for youth sports programs.

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of nearly four years. His lawyers want an 18-month prison term.

His lawyers say in court papers filed ahead of the sentencing that prosecutors have presented an “unjustified caricature” of Thomas and are ignoring the significance of his community service. They say he devoted years to youth sports, where he was often called “Coach Tommy,” and that his service went above and beyond his duties as an elected official.