Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted by federal authorities Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes to get his son into grad school at USC. It is just the latest scandal to hit the elite university and the embattled Los Angeles City Council.
The bribes were allegedly accepted while Ridley-Thomas was serving as an L.A. county supervisor. Prosecutors say he conspired with the School of Social Work’s former dean, Marilyn Louise Flynn, to steer county funds to the university. In return, his son Sebastian — a former legislator who was accused of sexual harassment — received a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship at USC.
Flynn and Ridley-Thomas are both facing charges of conspiracy, bribery, and mail and wire fraud. You can read the 20-page indictment here.
Ridley-Thomas is the third member of the city council to be recently indicted. He joins former councilmen Mitch Englander and Jose Huizar.
City Councilman and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino said the charges “tarnish the reputation of the entire L.A. City Council.” Council President Nury Martinez said she was “disappointed” by the allegations. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis called for a full and independent investigation.
Read more reactions at the Los Angeles Times.