New Orleans School Board Member Indicted In Federal Corruption Scheme

Mar 6, 2015

A New Orleans school board member faces a federal charge in an alleged bribery scheme.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite announced the charge against Ira Thomas at a news conference Friday afternoon.

Polite says the case centers on a school system janitorial services contract.

“From September 2013 through January 1015," Polite said, "Mr. Thomas in his role as an Orleans Parish School Board member engaged in a scheme to defraud Orleans Parish and its citizens of his honest services through bribery in a kickback scheme.”   

Polite says the key witness was approached by a school district employee about getting a contract in exchange for a payoff. Prosecutors say $5,000 was handed over, the exchange recorded on video, and then delivered to Thomas.

He added that the investigation is ongoing, but did not say if more charges are pending. Thomas is expected to resign from the school board.