Former Congressional staffer facing new federal charges

Published: Oct. 30, 2017 at 11:27 PM CDT
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A now-former Congressional staffer is facing a second round of federal charges. He's already serving a sentence for tax evasion.

Lanier Avant served as Congressman Bennie Thompson's chief of staff since 2002. In the midst of more scrutiny, we've learned he’s no longer on staff.

His now former boss Congressman Bennie Thompson said this in 2016 after his first charges.

"In talking to my chief of staff I have confidence," said Thompson in 2016. "At some point, he'll have an opportunity to present his side and I believe when he presents his side he'll be vindicated."

Thompson at the time said he'd fire Avant if he was proven guilty of the accusations. Avant did plead guilty to tax evasion and was charged in January of this year but stayed on staff with Thompson as recently as the last two weeks.

Thompson issued the following statement Monday:

“Mr. Avant is no longer employed with my office. I appreciate his service over the years to my office and to the people of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi.”

Meanwhile, his sentence included 30 days in jail and weekends for a year. Meaning, he was working on the Hill during the week and behind bars on the weekends.

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