Columbia councilman set for jury trial next month

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A Columbia City Council member who is accused of misusing his office is set to go to jury trial next month, according to online court records.

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas requested a jury trial on Monday, and his trial was approved on Tuesday. Thomas is expected to have a pre-trial conference on Oct. 17 and a jury trial on Oct. 24. The trial is expected to last one day, according to online court filings. 

Thomas is charged with trying to strike a deal with a developer in November in exchange for his support for a subdivision project. Thomas wanted the developer to give about $40,000 to the Columbia Community Land Trust, which builds affordable homes for low-income people. 

The project never went before the council for a vote.

Thomas reported himself to the Missouri Ethics Commission after City Attorney Nancy Thompson told him his actions might be illegal. He also disclosed the matter publicly and apologized to his constituents.

Thomas pleaded not guilty in his arraignment on Monday.

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