LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, indicted on federal corruption charges, announced Friday that he will not step down from his post on the Los Angeles City Council.
The long time LA County and city leader’s statement read in part:READ MORE: Pelicans Top Clippers Again, 123-104; Valanciunas Scores Career-High 39,
“I have no intention of resigning my seat on the City Council or neglecting my duties. Doing so would be to the detriment of the people I serve and I have no intention of leaving my constituents without a voice on matters that directly affect their well-being. Going forward, I intend to do two things: disprove the allegations leveled at me and continue the work I was elected to do — most importantly, addressing the homeless and housing crisis.”
When the federal indictment was announced Wednesday, attention was primarily focused on Ridley-Thomas, though his son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, and a former dean of the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, Marilyn Flynn, were also named.
Ridley-Thomas is accused of funneling campaign money through USC to a nonprofit run by his son Sebastian. Flynn allegedly also helped funnel the funds through the university.
The indictment also lists several unnamed players who either knew about the scheme or participated in it.READ MORE: Chanukah Celebrations Stress Message Of "Light Over Darkness" In Trying Times
Now, two local civil rights activists, National Action Network West President Jonathan Moseley and Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson, have called for all the players involved in the corruption case to be named and prosecuted.
“They’re not naming some of the real perpetrators, the ones that are at top, the ones that are making the real crucial decisions, how the money comes down, who’s it going to, where it’s going to,” Moseley said at a press conference.
“Don’t make one person the fall guy,” Hutchinson added. “Don’t make one person the scapegoat. Again, this is not absolving anyone of anything, but if you have others that were involved in this, others…and of course the indictment made it clear, ‘University Official 1, University Official 2’ – it’s not fair.”
It’s unknown whether the other people named in the indictment are cooperating witnesses or will be indicted at a later point.
Ridley-Thomas’s arraignment is set for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Roybal Federal Building. Flynn’s arraignment is set for Oct. 25.MORE NEWS: Authorities Investigating Fatal North Hollywood Shooting On Monday Evening