Judge Clears Way for Herb Wesson to Temporarily Return to LA City Council – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Former Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has received permission from a judge today to begin serving as temporary deputy to City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was fired after being charged with federal corruption charges.

The order was issued by Los Angeles Supreme Court Justice Mary Strobel in a lawsuit filed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of the South
California, which is challenging the removal of Ridley-Thomas and the appointment of Wesson.

Strobel issued a temporary restraining order on Feb. 24, preventing Wesson, who had been sworn in two days earlier, to take his place immediately. But on Thursday, she refused to extend the order in the form of an order that effectively raised the TRO and allowed Wesson to begin serving.

SCLC’s lawyer John Sweeney has vowed to continue the court battle, noting that Strobel’s decision is based on technical reasons and does not rule on the legality of Wesson’s appointment.

The SCLC case in Southern California aims to restore Ridley-Thomas to the city council. Ridley-Thomas, who was executive director of the Greater Los Angeles organization from 1981-1991, was removed from the council in October following a federal indictment.

Pastor William Smart, president of the SCLC, told City News Service in February that he considered the removal of Ridley-Thomas “morally wrong, politically indefensible and clearly illegal.”

Wesson represented the 10th district from 2005 to December 2020. He also served as president of the council from 2012 to 2020. The lawsuit noted that Wesson was “excluded” and argued that he could not legally take the place of the city council, as it already represents an area for three terms.

The proposal to appoint Wesson as temporary deputy to Ridley-Thomas was unanimously approved by the city council on February 22nd. According to the appointment, Wesson must take office by December 31, unless Ridley-Thomas is acquitted or the charges against him are dropped.

“With more than 30 years of civil service representing the residents of County Council 10, there is currently no better choice than former council member Herb Wesson,” Council President Nuri Martinez said after announcing his proposal to appoint Wesson.

“Mr Wesson cares deeply about the communities he represents and knows the area better than anyone else. District 10 voters need a voting member who understands their community to represent them in the Chamber. “

Following the removal of Ridley-Thomas, the 10th arrondissement is being monitored by official Carly Catona, who is not eligible to vote. The vote on the Ridley-Thomas Municipal Suspension Council passed with three members of the opposition council: councilors Marquis Harris-Dawson, Bonin and Kern Price. Price said before the vote that his office was flooded with calls for support for Ridley-Thomas from residents of South Los Angeles.

The trial against Ridley-Thomas and former dean of the USC School of Social Work, Marilyn Flynn, is tentatively scheduled to begin on August 9. The defendants are charged with a 20-count indictment alleging a secret deal in which Ridley-Thomas – when he was a member of the county board of trustees – agreed to direct the county’s money to the university in exchange for accepting his son Sebastian. Ridley-Thomas in high school with a full scholarship and paid
professorial position.

Flynn is said to have arranged for a $ 100,000 donation from the Ridley-Thomas campaign across the university to a non-profit organization run by his son, a former member of the state assembly. The donation sparked an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, which remains open.
prosecutors said.

In return, the indictment alleges, Ridley-Thomas backed county contracts involving the School of Social Work, including lucrative deals to provide services to the county’s Department of Child and Family Services and Probation, and amending a contract with the Department of Mental Health. which will bring the school millions of dollars in new revenue.
Both defendants categorically denied any wrongdoing and promised that the evidence would clear their names.

Judge Clears Way for Herb Wesson to Temporarily Return to LA City Council – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Judge Clears Way for Herb Wesson to Temporarily Return to LA City Council – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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