Democrat L.A. City Council Member Indicted by Feds for Bribery

Mark Ridley-Thomas (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)
Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas, a prominent Democrat, was indicted by federal prosecutors on Wednesday in a complex bribery scheme that allegedly involved Marilyn Louise Flynn, the former dean of the USC School of Social Work.

The U.S. Attorney’s office stated in a press release:

Longtime politician Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of the School of Social Work at a university in Southern California were indicted today on federal corruption charges that allege a bribery scheme in which a Ridley-Thomas relative received 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.

The 20-count indictment alleges that Ridley-Thomas, now a member of the Los Angeles City Council, conspired with Marilyn Louise Flynn, formerly a tenured professor and the dean of the university’s School of Social Work, who agreed to provide the Ridley-Thomas relative with graduate school admission, a full-tuition scholarship, a paid professorship, and a mechanism to funnel Ridley-Thomas campaign funds through the university to a non-profit to be operated by the relative.

In exchange, the indictment alleges, Ridley-Thomas supported contracts involving the Social Work School, including contracts to provide services to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Probation Department, as well as an amendment to a contract with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) that would bring the school millions of dollars in new revenue.

Elex Michaelson of local Fox affiliate KTTV-11 noted that Ridley-Thomas is only the latest in a bipartisan group of city council members to be indicted.

Ridley-Thomas represents the city council’s 10th district, which includes South Central L.A. He was formerly a member of the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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