Mark Ridley-Thomas ‘stepping back’ from City Council duties amid federal indictment

(Former) L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks at Environmental Charter School Graduation 2010 with US Secretary Of Labor Hilda Solis on June 24, 2010.
(Former) L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks at Environmental Charter School Graduation 2010 with US Secretary Of Labor Hilda Solis on June 24, 2010. Photo credit Paul Redmond/Getty Images for Environmental Charter High School

Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas said Monday he would not resign from the board of elected representatives but would “immediately step back” from committee assignments and council meetings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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A federal grand jury indicted Ridley-Thomas last week, alleging a quid pro quo scheme to admit and hire his son at USC in exchange for funneling millions of dollars worth of county contracts to the university.

Ridley-Thomas called the accusations against him “outrageous,” vowing to fight them and return to his political post “at the earliest appropriate time,” the newspaper said about the letter delivered to council members.

“I fully appreciate the importance of the council being able to conduct its business with minimal distractions,” Ridley-Thomas wrote, according to the Times.

Councilwoman Nithya Ramen said the councilman should at least step away from his committee work. Councilman Joe Buscaino told KNX 1070 he believes Ridley-Thomas should resign, criticizing his continued campaign for mayor of Los Angeles while facing at least 20 charges.