L.A. political world stunned by corruption indictment against Mark Ridley-Thomas

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In this Jun 1, 2010, photo, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas casts the deciding vote for the Board of Supervisors 3-2 vote to join the city in its economic boycott of Arizona over its SB 1070 law targeting illegal immigrants in Los Angeles. Longtime politician Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of the School of Social Work at USC were indicted Thursday, Oct. .14, 2021, 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. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

In this Jun 1, 2010, photo, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas casts the deciding vote for the Board of Supervisors 3-2 vote to join the city in its economic boycott of Arizona over its SB 1070 law targeting illegal immigrants in Los Angeles. Longtime politician Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of the School of Social Work at USC were indicted Thursday, Oct. .14, 2021, 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. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles’ political and community leaders were stunned by the corruption indictment handed down Wednesday against Mark Ridley-Thomas, one of the city’s best-known and longest-serving officials.

Ridley-Thomas is accused of conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, who at the time was dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into the graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. Ridley-Thomas was on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at the time. He was later elected to the City Council representing South Los Angeles.

Neither Ridley-Thomas nor his attorney has responded so far to requests for comment.

Wednesday’s announcement was a shocking development for a politician who has been an influential voice in city policy for three decades and an architect of regional policy on the homeless crisis.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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