L.A. City Council to vote on suspension of Mark Ridley-Thomas

 David Buchan/Getty Images
Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks at the opening of the Helen Keller Park screening room in 2014. Photo credit David Buchan/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council announced it will vote on Wednesday whether to suspend Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas from office.

A federal grand jury indicted Ridley-Thomas last week on bribery and conspiracy charges arising from his tenure on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The indictment alleged a quid pro quo scheme where Ridley-Thomas funneled millions of dollars in county contracts to the USC School of Social Work in exchange for admission and a paid professorship for his son.

Podcast Episode
KNX All Local
LA Mayor Garcetti reacts to another corruption scandal at city hall; Just days left before a threatened strike by a major Hollywood union; New figures for the extent of the OC oil spill
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Ridley-Thomas quickly characterized the allegations as “outrageous,” vowing to disprove them. On Monday, he said he would "step back" from committee assignments and other council duties while prosecution is pending.

The councilman made it clear he does not intend to resign.

Council President Nury Martinez introduced the motion to suspend Ridley-Thomas. Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell supported the move. The vote is scheduled during a special meeting at Wednesday morning.

Only one L.A. councilmember, Joe Buscaino, has openly called for Ridley-Thomas to resign. Councilmember Nithya Raman had said Ridley-Thomas should step down as chairman of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee and be stripped of his other assignments for “the short term.”

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday it would consider a proposal by Chair Hilda Solis and Supervisor Kathryn Barger to hire outside counsel to investigate the alllegations against Ridley-Thomas and evaluate "associated county processes and policies in place."