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.
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.
- 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.”
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.
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.” “