SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Former Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas was arrested on Tuesday on felony theft charges.
Police arrested Thomas at 11:15 a.m. and charged the 55-year-old alderman with felony theft by taking. He was booked into the Chatham County Jail and posted $2400 bond the same day.
According to the police report, Thomas was working as a store manager at Parker’s convenience store. Sources told News 3 the arrest was related to thousands of dollars in missing money from the store.
The charge becomes a felony when the amount taken is above $500.
While Thomas has never been arrested before, he was the focus of a GBI investigation for allegedly providing drugs and alcohol, and sexually assaulting teenage boys.
Some of those boys detailed the incidents in a series of youtube videos.
“He invited me over and there was a lot of cocaine, alcohol. I was absolutely wasted,” said Josh Flowers, an alleged victim in a youtube video. “17 years old you want free liquor free cocaine, what 17 wouldn’t?”
The D.A. says this was the third time Thomas’ name came up. A letter was sent to the FBI in 2012 and in 2013 Heap’s office sent more allegations to the GBI.
But a year later the investigation was closed due to “insufficient evidence.”
“Is any of it true at all?” News 3 asked Thomas.
“No no. I mean sexual misconduct on little boys is not true. Drug use I think i can pull a ton of witnesses in there that know about drug use from me that no way is a part of my life.”
14 of the 18 Chatham County Grand Jurors said that he “clearly” violated the law, but the cases were too old and the statute of limitations had run out.
One of those jurors also wrote “im sorry” to his alleged victims.
“I do not agree with what Alderman Thomas did,” said the Alderman and future Mayor Van Johnson back in 2017. “I think it was wrong, it was in poor taste and it was not fitting of anybody, even a city councilman.”
Thomas could not escape being the first ever Savannah Alderman censured by his fellow City Council members in 2019. That was for lewd comments he made to a reporter and for photos showing him heavily intoxicated on St. Patrick’s Day.
It was later that same year that voters apparently had enough. Thomas lost a runoff to Kurtis Purtee.
Thomas was still upbeat then about life after office.
“Life doesn’t end. Public service is something that comes in your blood,” explained Thomas in 2019. “Something you want to do but if by chance it comes to an end at the end of December, Tony will find many things that will keep him occupied.”
That felony charge that carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
We reached out to Thomas himself to see if he wanted to address these allegations.
He did not return our calls.