Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and a former USC dean were indicted on 20 counts of federal corruption charges.
While serving on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Ridley-Thomas allegedly teamed with Marilyn Louise Flynn, a former dean of the USC School of Social Work, in a bribery scheme that saw the now councilman receive “substantial benefits from the university in exchange for Ridley-Thomas supporting county contracts and lucrative contract amendments with the university while he served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment goes on to allege that Flynn granted a full-ride scholarship to a relative of Thomas’. Said relative was believed to be operating a non-profit organization that used campaign funds that were funneled through the university.
With that agreement, the Justice Dept. alleges that Ridley-Thomas supported contracts involving the USC school of Social Work while serving as a county supervisor.
Fellow Councilman and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino commented on the Wednesday findings and suggested Ridley-Thomas step down from the council.
“I am shocked, saddened, and disgusted by the Federal bribery charges against Mark Ridley-Thomas,” Buscaino tweeted Wednesday. “These charges tarnish the reputation of the entire LA City Council, and because of that, Ridley-Thomas should immediately step down from his position.”
Council President Nury Martinez expressed disappointment and said action may be taken from the council.
“I’m disappointed in the news that has come out this afternoon of federal bribery charges against Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas,” Martinez said in a statement. “While the alleged crimes took place while Mr. Ridley-Thomas sat on the Board of Supervisors, these charges are serious and the Council will need to take appropriate action.”
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