Neil S. Rodgers, a former District of Columbia government official, was sentenced today to a period of incarceration and ordered to pay full restitution on a charge stemming from his role in channeling $110,000 in youth and drug prevention grant funds that were used to pay for President Obama’s 2009 inaugural ball.
Rodgers was found guilty in March 2015, by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, of first-degree fraud. The Honorable Senior Judge John D. Bates sentenced Rodgers to 36 days of incarceration, to be served over 12 weekends. He also ordered him to pay $110,000 in restitution. Rodgers also will be placed on two years of probation.
Six others have pled guilty to charges in the overall investigation, which focused on activities involving former Council Member Harry L. Thomas, Jr. Thomas pled 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. He resigned in January 2012 as a condition of his plea agreement and later served a 38-month prison sentence.
According to the government’s evidence, Rodgers aided Thomas in illegally securing funds for the 51st State Inaugural Ball, held on Jan. 20, 2009, at the Wilson Building.