DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – One day after Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal corruption charges, a scheduled meeting of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which Ridley-Thomas chairs, was cancelled.
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LA Mayor Eric Garcetti commented on the indictment Thursday at a North Hollywood event.
“While I know nothing more than what we read, this is a case, which if the facts are true, is incredibly disturbing, and as I’ve always said, if you break the law, be prepared to pay the price.”
The case against Ridley-Thomas alleges he conspired with former University of Southern California Dean of the School of Social Work, Marilyn Flynn, to funnel campaign money through the college to a nonprofit run run by his son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.
“I’m a big believer in due process, but I’m a believer in consequences,” Garcetti added.
Ridley-Thomas was a county supervisor at the time of the alleged crime. His attorney released a statement on Thursday, reading in part:READ MORE: 'Survivor 41' Episode 6: The Merge Part 1
“Mark Ridley-Thomas was shocked by the federal allegations leveled against him, and with good reason. They are wrong and we look forward to disproving them.”
This is the third corruption case to hit City Hall in recent years. Former councilmember Jose Huizar was suspended for bribery and racketeering charges and Mitch Englander is doing time after pleading guilty for lying to federal authorities while serving in office.
At the North Hollywood event Thursday, Councilman Paul Krekorian was asked if Ridley-Thomas should be suspended as well.
“I believe in due process as well, but I think we have to be consistent as well. And when people are facing federal indictments, it’s very difficult for them to continue to do their job in city council,” he said.MORE NEWS: Regina King Places Handprints, Footprints Outside TCL Chinese Theatre In Hollywood
Prosecutors say both Mark Ridley-Thomas and Marilyn Flynn have agreed to appear for their arraignments in federal court in the coming weeks.