Herb Wesson Takes Indicted LA Councilman’s Seat

Former Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has begun serving as a temporary replacement for suspended District 10 Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, following a judge's ruling.

On March 17, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel declined to extend a temporary restraining order that she had previously issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California (SLC). The organization, whose Los Angeles chapter was once headed by Ridley-Thomas, has challenged the suspension as well as Wesson’s appointment.

SLC notes that Wesson already represented the district for three terms and believes he cannot legally serve again. SLC has also called Ridley-Thomas’ suspension morally wrong and illegal.

Ridley-Thomas has been accused of promising to steer public funds toward the University of California in exchange for a scholarship for his son. Wesson will hold the seat through December 31 unless Ridley-Thomas is acquitted. The trial is set to begin on August 9.

Wesson has wasted no time since taking the seat. On Monday, he fired two of Ridley-Thomas' top aides.