Remembering David Lee Thomas, Sr.by Senator Jeff Sessions
Posted on 2015-02-04
SESSIONS. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to
David Lee Thomas, Sr. of Mobile, AL, who passed away on January 22,
2015. He and I were friends for many years. I first got to know him
when I was a young Assistant U.S. attorney in Mobile and he was already
a proven and respected Federal law officer. He had been hired as the
first African-American investigator in the southeast region, with the
office of inspector general, U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was
investigating fraud by stores and businesses that were buying food
stamps for cash or carrying on other unlawful activities. One of the
highlights of his career with the OIG was receiving a letter from
President Ronald Reagan for solving a fraud case which saved the U.S.
Government $10 million. During that time, we worked a number of cases
together. Several went to trial, and he taught me a great deal about
law, trials, and how fraud and abuse occur.
David retired from the OIG in 1990, but that retirement lasted all of 6 months. He began working at the Mobile Drug Coalition, and from there he began the second most rewarding career when he became the assistant director of the Mobile County Community Corrections Center. In that role, he established the Court Police Department and helped develop the Mobile County Drug Court Program, which was the first of its kind in Alabama.
David loved his community and was involved in many organizations to make Mobile a better place to live. He [[Page S768]] was also very active in his church. He was a great law enforcement officer, citizen, friend, and devoted father and grandfather. This Nation has many excellent Federal employees and officials. David was one of the best. His record speaks for itself. I extend my sympathy to his friends and family.