LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council will vote on the immediate suspension of councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas on Wednesday, Oct. 20. — the same day of his arraignment for federal bribery and conspiracy charges.
Council President Nury Martinez introduced the motion and councilman Mitch O’Farrell seconded it. The vote for suspension is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday.READ MORE: Pelicans Top Clippers Again, 123-104; Valanciunas Scores Career-High 39,
According to the 20-count indictment filed in Los Angels federal court last week, then-Supervisor Ridley-Thomas allegedly conspired with the former dean of USC’s School of Social Work, Marilyn Louise Flynn, to not only get his son into the school but for him to get a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship at the university. Flynn is also accused of arranging to funnel a $100,000 donation from Ridley-Thomas’ campaign funds through the university to a nonprofit operated by his son. Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported county contracts favoring the School of Social Work in exchange. One of the proposed amendments to a contract between the school and the Department of Mental Health would have brought the school millions of dollars in revenue.
The attorneys for both parties deny any wrongdoing. Ridley-Thomas has said that he has “no intention of resigning” claiming he will only refrain from participating in council and committee meetings.READ MORE: Chanukah Celebrations Stress Message Of "Light Over Darkness" In Trying Times
The City Council cannot remove duly elected council members, however, they can suspend them without pay which Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin has promised to do if Ridley-Thomas is suspended.
“No one indicted for public corruption and suspended by the City Council should receive a taxpayer-funded salary,” Galperin said on Tuesday.MORE NEWS: Authorities Investigating Fatal North Hollywood Shooting On Monday Evening
This situation happened last year in June 2020, when Councilman Jose Huizar refused to resign after being charged with felony racketeering. The City Council voted to suspend Huizar and Galperin summarily terminated his city salary payments.