Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Southport Council Hires Fraud Investigator

Southport Mayor Robin Thoman turned down a request by the city council that he resign his office at a meeting last night, and the council responded by unanimously voting to hire a fraud investigator. Last week, Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid first broke the story of how Mayor Thoman concealed past criminal charges against him while he was a student at the University of Colorado in 1981 on his dental license examination, as well as information about his military service. The Star's Jason Thomas has this response from Mayor Thoman concerning the charges:

Because the charges eventually were dismissed, Thoman said he did not lie when he checked the box that asked about a criminal history.

"I specifically answered that question with legal advice before I filled that form out," said Thoman, adding that he has asked for clarification on the matter from the state medical licensing board. "I never knowingly lied on that form. I think I answered them truthfully."

Thoman pleaded his innocence.

"I think I answered truthfully," he said. "If I am wrong, I'd like to correct that error.

"I had no idea someone would cut and paste the work of my past and make it look as bad as it does," Thoman added. "It's something I'm not particularly proud of today, but I did not try to persuade, and I did not lie."

According to the report on Channel 59, Thoman was arrested on charges of theft, embezzlement and intimidation in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1981 as a college student.

Because the charges eventually were dismissed, Thoman said he did not lie when he checked the box that asked about a criminal history.

"I specifically answered that question with legal advice before I filled that form out," said Thoman, adding that he has asked for clarification on the matter from the state medical licensing board. "I never knowingly lied on that form. I think I answered them truthfully."
It wasn't just the criminal charges Thoman omitted from his dental license application. On a question asking about his military experience, Thoman answered "N/A". During an interview with McQuaid, Thoman conceded that he had been discharged from the Army Medic Corps under less than honorable circumstances.

The council is concerned with more than just the old criminal arrest. There have also been questions raised about city expenditures, his costly handling of a lawsuit brought by a man over a dispute over prayers at city council meetings and his handling of the police department, which resulted in all of the city's police officers resigning recently.

7 comments:

varangianguard said...

Want some interesting reading? Go see what an "Other Than Honorable Discharge" is granted for.

Advance Indiana said...

He told McQuaid it was for "personal reasons."

varangianguard said...

I'll just bet. Comment like that just begs for a Top Ten list.

Besides, the Uniform Code of Military Justice prescribes other types of discharges for more innocent reasons.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I for my part am not as worried about his past as what he's doing in office now. The embezzlement matter is almost 30 years ago. however, it does involve a crime of dishonesty so that is important.

The fact he apparently was less than truthful on his dental license application would suggest a pattern. Again, though I'm more worried about what is going on now, which is troubling enough.

artfuggins said...

Many applications do not ask if you were arrested for an infraction but if you were convicted of a law violation. If the Dental license application is worded that way then he was truthful on his application. I am not familiar with the application or with the mayor.

Advance Indiana said...

He entered a plea of nolo contendere to a felony and misdemeanor theft charge. Under the terms of his deferred sentencing/judgment, he was required to do certain things like pay restitution. Later, the charges were dismissed. If I had been advising him, I would have told him to answer the question "yes" and explain the charges fully. The question included pleading nolo contendere to any offense, misdemeanor or felony in any state, except for violation of traffic laws resulting in fines.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree, AI. It is a conviction.