Artist Name
Oliver Thomas
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1977

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Artist Biography
Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. (born February 10, 1957), is a Democratic politician from New Orleans. He served on the New Orleans City Council from 1994 to 2007. On August 13, 2007, Thomas resigned his council seat after pleading guilty to bribery charges.

Contents

1 Early life and family,
2 Political career
2.1 Bribery and resignation,
,
3 Acting career,
4 Election History,
5 References,
6 External links,

Early life and family:
Thomas was born in New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward, the son of a laborer and a telephone operator. After graduating from Joseph S. Clark High School, he was able to go to college after receiving an athletic scholarship. In 1982, Thomas received a bachelor's degree in business studies from the College of Santa Fe, a liberal arts institution in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After graduation, he spent several years on the East Coast working as an account executive for a travel company. He returned to New Orleans in 1985, where he worked as a substitute teacher and began volunteering in a number of political campaigns.
He is married to Angelle (Laraque) Thomas. They have one daughter.

Political career:
Thomas began his political career as a member of BOLD, a political organization based in New Orleans's Central City neighborhood. A protégé of BOLD leader and longtime city councilor Jim Singleton, Thomas was appointed a legislative aide to Singleton in 1986. He then worked as a capital projects manager for the city's Downtown Development District, and as a property manager for a firm in private industry.
Thomas was first elected to City Council in 1994, representing District B - a district which includes BOLD's home neighborhood of Central City as well as the Central Business District and parts of Mid-City and Uptown. He served as councilor for this district for two terms before being elected to an at-large seat in 2002. While on city council, Thomas developed a reputation as a capable, responsive elected official; he gained a high level of popularity among both black and white voters. His popularity was confirmed in the both the elections of 2002 and 2006, when he was elected with a margin wide enough to avoid needing a runoff. He won with 88% of the vote in 2002 and was re-elected with 78% of the vote in 2006. In recent years there had been widespread speculation that Thomas would run for Mayor of New Orleans in 2010.

Bribery and resignation:
On August 13, 2007, Thomas resigned his council seat and pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge. In late 2001 and early 2002, Thomas took $15,000 in kickbacks from Stan "Pampy" Barre, a local businessman and associate of then-mayor Marc Morial. Barre owned a company which operated a number of French Quarter parking lots under contract with the city, and paid Thomas in order to ensure that the Morial-era contracts would be renewed under the incoming administration. Thomas agreed to Barre's terms, but also demanded and received one-third of the parking profits in kickbacks through one of his associates. On November 21, 2007, Thomas was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for bribery.

Acting career:
Not long after his release from prison, Thomas starred in "Reflections: A Man and His Time," a biographical play, co-written with Anthony Bean, about his political downfall and personal redemption. Oliver Thomas played himself in Season 2 of HBO's Treme, set just before he was arrested for bribery in 2007.

Election History:
Councilmember, District B, 1994
Threshold > 50%
First Ballot, February 5, 1994
Candidate
Affiliation
Support
Outcome
Oliver Thomas
Democratic
9467 (42%)
Runoff
Renee Gill Pratt
Democratic
8609 (38%)
Runoff
Others

20%
Defeated
Councilmember, District B, 1994
Threshold > 50%
Runoff, March 5, 1994
Candidate
Affiliation
Support
Outcome
Oliver Thomas
Democratic
13,964 (52%)
Elected
Renee Gill Pratt
Democratic
13,042 (48%)
Defeated
Councilmember, District B, 1998
Threshold > 50%
First Ballot, February 7, 1998
Candidate
Affiliation
Support
Outcome
Oliver Thomas
Democratic
16,759 (90%)
Elected
Diane Prunty-Williams
Republican
1897 (10%)
Defeated
At-Large Councilmember, 2002
Threshold >25% (two to be elected)
Candidate
Affiliation
Support
Outcome
Oliver Thomas
Democratic
84,346 (44%)
Elected
Eddie Sapir
Democratic
79,472 (41%)
Elected
Others

15%
Defeated
At-Large Councilmember, 2006
Threshold >25% (two to be elected)
Candidate
Affiliation
Support
Outcome
Oliver Thomas
Democratic
66,374 (39%)
Elected
Jackie Clarkson
Democratic
36,839 (22%)
Runoff
Arnie Fielkow
Democratic
31,092 (18%)
Runoff
Others

20%
Defeated


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Unlocked - Last Edit - 06/Feb/16

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