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LA City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas indicted on federal corruption charges

Los Angeles (CNS)-Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley Thomas and former Dean of the USC Social Work School alleged federal corruption alleging a bribery plan that Ridley Thomas’ relatives received substantial benefits from the university In exchange for the support of contract politicians while he was on the county’s supervisory board, charged on Wednesday.

A 20-count indictment filed in federal court in Los Angeles alleges that Ridley Thomas colluded with Marilyn Louise Flynn. Ridley Thomas’ campaign funds are poured into nonprofits through the university and run by the family.

In return, the complaint upheld Ridley Thomas’ contract to provide services to the county’s Department of Child and Family Services and Probation, as well as contracts involving social work schools, including amendments to contracts with psychiatry. Claims. Health that brings millions of dollars in new income to schools.

According to the US Federal Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles’ Ridley Thomas, 66, and Flynn, 83, were indicted Wednesday afternoon and agreed to appear in federal court in Los Angeles within a few weeks. ..

Both Ridley Thomas and Flynn have been charged with conspiracy and bribes. The indictment also charges both defendants with two counts of “honest service” postal fraud and 15 counts of “honest service” transfer fraud.

“The indictment allegedly abused public confidence by taking official action to benefit himself and his family,” Tracy L. Wilkison, deputy US federal prosecutor, said in a statement. I am prosecuting a veteran lawmaker. ” “The corruption alleged in the indictment was facilitated by senior university officials whose desire for funding appears to have defeated the notion of integrity and fair play. Public corruption cases are pursued by us. It’s one of the most important issues, and if a taxpayer’s funded person, such as an investigator and a civil servant, violates the law, he will be prosecuted. “

In 2017 and 2018, the indictment sought the benefits of then-supervisor Ridley Thomas from Flynn and university officials to benefit relatives who were the subject of an internal sexual harassment investigation in the state legislature. It gives an overview of the alleged plans. Elected job title and considerable debt.

The indictment did not appoint relatives, but Ridley Thomas’ son Sebastian resigned from Congress in 2017 during an investigation into sexual harassment complaints. He argued at the time that the resignation was not for sexual harassment investigations, but for health reasons. Sebastian Ridley Thomas later became a professor of social work and public policy at USC, but he was later dismissed for questions about his first appointment.

Prosecutors claim that Mark Ridley Thomas wants to secure paid employment for his relatives in the wake of his sudden resignation to minimize their public fallout. Meanwhile, social work schools faced millions of dollars in budget deficits, threatening the school’s viability and Flynn’s position and reputation as the school’s longtime dean, according to the complaint.

As part of the bribery scheme, Ridley Thomas and Flynn allegedly took steps to “disguise, conceal, and conceal bribes, kickbacks, and other interests.” According to the document, he agreed to do so in exchange for financial gain.

According to the complaint, the pair also concealed the true purpose of the money sent to relatives’ nonprofits through the university and violated several university policies regarding nonprofit financing, the prosecution said. rice field.

Within weeks of Lidley Thomas contacting Flynn about a relative who wants a college graduate degree in May 2017, Flynn campaigns to secure both college admission and a full scholarship for relatives. The prosecutor claims that he has started.

Flynn wrote in an email that he intends to open all the doors for his family, the indictment alleges. Flynn had another college relationship with her when college officials said Ridley Thomas had “a lot of discretion” and should give the college “$ 1 million a year for three years,” according to the complaint. Scholarships in exchange for school funds that the person said he intends to provide the full amount to his relatives.

According to prosecutors, in June 2017, Ridley Thomas and Flynn reached an agreement, which he later commemorated with a secret letter handed to Ridley Thomas. The complaint details Flynn’s letter with Ridley Thomas’ hopes of leading a new contract with DCFS and probation to a social work school and ensuring a favorable amendment to the existing telemedicine-DMH contract. Claims.

Prosecutors claim that the new amendment predicted that telemedicine contracts would generate about $ 9 million a year for social work schools.

The complaint was voted in August 2017 by Ridley Thomas to approve a motion to establish a partnership between the county and the social work school, and “The Conservation College,” which it paid for the school’s county. Create.

“I’m very happy to see (Ridley Thomas) as good as his words,” Flynn told college officials in an email, the accusation alleged.

The number of plots alleged in the indictment can be imprisoned in federal prison for up to five years. Each bribery case can be sentenced to up to 10 years. Each charge for postal fraud and wire fraud is penalized for up to 20 years.

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LA City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas indicted on federal corruption charges Source link LA City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas indicted on federal corruption charges

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