The plan reportedly took place when Mark Ridley-Thomas worked on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas He, facing federal corruption charges, will “immediately withdraw” from attending council and committee meetings, according to a letter sent to his aides on Monday.
In a letter to the city council, Ridley-Thomas said he plans to fight the “outrageous charges” leveled against him and hopes to be acquitted. He is not resigning.
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Longtime politician and 83-year-old Marilyn Lewis Flynn, former dean of the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, was indicted on October 13 on charges related to an alleged bribery scheme. The Justice Department said the 20-count indictment accuses 66-year-old Ridley-Thomas of “facilitating county contracts with the university and lucrative contract amendments” in 2017 and 2018 in exchange for benefits for a relative.
Each has been charged with conspiracy, bribery, two counts of “honest services” mail fraud and 15 counts of “honest services” wire fraud.
“Throughout my career, I have tried to act with the utmost moral conviction,” Ridley-Thomas wrote in her letter.
The plan reportedly took place while he served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
At the end of the letter, he said he looked forward to “resuming my involvement at the earliest appropriate time”.
Last week, the councilor said he intended to continue working, including focusing on the city’s growing homeless population and housing shortage. Upon hearing of the allegations, Councilor Joe Buscano asked his colleague to resign.
“I am shocked, saddened and disappointed by the federal bribery allegations against Mark Ridley-Thomas,” he tweeted last week. “These allegations tarnish the reputation of the entire LA city council, and because of this, Ridley-Thomas should step down immediately.”
Former Counselor Jose Huizer was alleged in July 2020 of accepting $1.5 million in bribes after FBI agents raided his home. He was removed from the functions of his committee and suspended.
He has pleaded not guilty in that case.