Loo Fined $1,100 for Attempting to Steal TV

Posted March 4, 2005 at 6:35pm

A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered former senior House aide Thomas Loo to pay $1,100 in fines Friday for attempting to steal a plasma television from the Rayburn House Office Building in December.

Under an agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Loo pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree theft, which carries a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail.

Judge Gregory Jackson ordered Loo to pay the maximum fine, as well as another $100 to the Victims of Crimes Fund.

In addition, the judge issued Loo a suspended sentence of 100 days in prison and placed the defendant on probation for nine months.

During his hearing, Loo, who resigned as the House Small Business Committee’s chief economist following his Dec. 16 arrest, acknowledged he had attempted to illegally remove the television, valued at more than $4,000, and also offered an apology for his actions.

“I did not have permission to take it,” Loo said in response to questions from Jackson.

According to court records, Loo removed the television from a wallmount in a Financial Services Committee hearing room and was preparing to exit when another House employee confronted him.

The employee pursued Loo through the building before notifying Capitol Police, who arrested Loo a short time later.

His attorney, Henry Schoenfeld, declined to comment on the case Friday, but stated in court that Loo has “certain personality traits” that prompted him “in a period of stress, into doing something he obviously shouldn’t.”

In issuing Loo’s sentence, Jackson stated the probation will be conditional, in part, on the defendant continuing to undergo counseling. The judge did not, however, elaborate on the purpose of the therapy.

A veteran GOP staffer, Loo joined the Small Business Committee in April 2004.

The Bethesda, Md., resident earlier spent nine years as a senior economist for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and also served on the House Budget Committee. Loo, who previously worked as a tax consultant at PriceWaterhouse, began his Congressional career in 1992 at the Congressional Budget Office.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Loo also holds doctorate and master’s degrees from Duke University.