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Columbia councilman charged with misdemeanor over nixed deal

September 6, 2019

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A city councilman in Columbia has been charged with negotiating a quid pro quo deal with two developers.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Ian Thomas said in an email Thursday to constituents that he plans to plead not guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempting to commit an act prohibited by a public official.

At issue is an agreement that would have required the developers to donate $40,000 to an affordable housing group. Under the deal, Thomas would support the developers’ annexation, zoning and development plans.

The agreement was nixed after the city counselor and another city official said it was potentially illegal. Thomas reported his activities to the Missouri Ethics Commission in November.

He has maintained that he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong and didn’t personally benefit.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com

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