Fraud, Bribery charges against L.A. councilman and former dean at University of California shows justice department “handing out indictments like Halloween candy”

Local political stalwart, Mark Ridley-Thomas faces an uphill battle in a 20-count indictment that former police chief, politician Bernard Parks says “No one should be surprised,” about.

L.A. City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, 66 and the former dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, Marilyn Louise Flynn, 84 were indicted on federal corruption charges alleging a bribery scheme where the elected official received money and secured a position for his son at the school to favor the institution in contracts. Moreover, the Justice Department alleges that Ridley-Thomas and Flynn allegedly took steps “to disguise, conceal, and cover up the bribes, kickbacks, and other benefits,” in 2017 and 2018

“This indictment charges a seasoned lawmaker who allegedly abused the public’s trust by taking official actions to benefit his family member and himself,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “The corrupt activities alleged in the indictment were facilitated by a major university’s high-ranking administrator whose desire for funding apparently trumped notions of integrity and fair play. Public corruption cases are among the most important matters we pursue, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute whenever public officials and others entrusted with taxpayer funds break the law.”

Ark Republic speaks with regular contributor Dame Crawford, who lives in Los Angeles, about the local ramifications of this high-profile criminal case, and how establishment Democratic politics received a blow, just as a Black candidate, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) announced her mayoral candidacy.

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