News | June 21, 2021

Former ethics lawyer earns spot in DLA Hall of Fame

By DLA Public Affairs

Editor’s note: This is the eighth of nine stories featuring 2020 DLA Hall of Fame inductees. A video highlighting inductees’ contributions to the agency will be broadcast on DLA’s Facebook page June 23.

Walter Thomas Jr.’s 36 years of accomplishments in employment law, ethics and contract law earned him a place in the 2020 Defense Logistics Agency Hall of Fame.

Thomas began his DLA career in 1977 at the Defense Industrial Supply Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Three years later, he joined the DLA Office of General Counsel, then located at Cameron Station, Virginia, and spent the rest of his career providing legal advice in fiscal law, suspension and debarment while also mentoring young attorneys.

“Walter also exhibited meaningful and impactful leadership throughout his distinguished career, quietly mentoring attorneys across the legal enterprise and setting an example of quality legal work that remains the benchmark for DLA attorneys,” DLA General Counsel Matthew Pausch wrote in the nomination.

While running one of the largest government ethics programs in the Defense Department, Thomas provided numerous written legal opinions on the use of government resources, outside activities, conflicts of interest and post-government employment. He also managed a financial disclosure program with almost 6,000 filers and transitioned DLA from paper filing to an e-filing system.

Thomas’ management of the government ethics program ensured that DLA consistently complied with regulations and policies, Pausch wrote. As acting deputy general counsel from 2011-2012, he also managed over 150 attorneys and enhanced professional development by rotating assignments and adjusting staffing levels.

Thomas retired in 2013.

Editor's note: View Thomas' segment of the 2020 DLA Hall of Fame ceremony video from June 23: