Los Angeles City councilmember indicted on federal bribery charges

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Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas and a former dean of the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work were indicted Wednesday on federal corruption charges over an alleged bribery scheme.

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why it matters: The longtime politician is accused of “supporting county contracts and lucrative contract amendments” in exchange for a relative receiving “substantial benefits” in his previous role as LA county supervisor. Justice Department statement.

  • The Democrat is the third LA city council member to face federal charges in two years. Los Angeles Times notes.

Between the lines: family member not named in charge, but the LA Times Reported in 2018 that USC awarded a scholarship to his son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.

  • According to the LA Times, “USC hired him as a professor around that time, when then-supervisor Ridley-Thomas funneled campaign money through the university, a non-profit run by his son.” The group was finished.”
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description: The 20-count indictment, filed in Los Angeles federal court, alleges that Ridley-Thomas, 66, conspired with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, who was formerly a professor and dean of USC’s School of Social Work.

  • He allegedly “assists a relative of Ridley-Thomas for admission to graduate school, a full-tuition scholarship, a paid professorship, and a mechanism to fund the Ridley-Thomas campaign through the university, run by a non-profit organization.” had agreed to provide,” according to the DOJ.
  • Prosecutors allege that Ridley-Thomas subverted contracts involving the USC school—including contracts to provide services to the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Probation, and amendments to a contract with the Department of Mental Health that included the school will bring “millions”. dollars in new revenue,” the DOJ said.

of note: Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was serving in the Assembly at the start of the alleged bribery scheme, which [allegedly] ran from 2017 to 2018 for politics.

  • “He resigned from that position in December 2017 amid a sexual assault investigation citing health problems,” the news outlet said.
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What are they saying: Ridley-Thomas could not be immediately contacted for comment, but Flynn’s attorney, Vicki Podbersky, told the LA Times that her client “has not committed a crime and we believe the evidence in this case will ultimately support this conclusion.” “

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