WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Former homeland security director Millicent West kept her emotions in check enough to give one-word or one-sentence answers in U.S. District Court Friday, but eventually she needed her attorney to bring her some tissues as she stood before the judge.

West entered a guilty plea, and is likely to receive between 6 months and a year in prison, for helping former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. use $110,000 in grant money intended for youth programs to pay for an inaugural ball. She later misrepresented how those funds were used on tax documents. She’ll be sentenced in May and faces a maximum prison sentence of three years.

At the time, West was the head of a nonprofit that serves at-risk youth. She later headed the district’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Thomas admitted using the nonprofit to steal money from the city and is serving a 3 ½-year prison term. West is the fifth person to plead guilty to charges stemming from his illegal use of taxpayer funds.

WNEW’s Matt DelSignore contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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