Mark Ridley-Thomas lawyers confirm deal with city to reimburse him $364,573

LA City Council had agreed to reinstate his salary while Ridley-Thomas awaits 2023 corruption trial

Attorneys for suspended Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas — who faces federal corruption charges over his actions while serving on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors — have filed court papers confirming a resolution of his lawsuit against the city and City Controller Ron Galperin for suspending his pay and benefits.

The accord comes after the City Council on Dec. 7 voted to reinstate both his salary and benefits and pay Ridley-Thomas a total of $364,573.

“Plaintiff will dismiss his claims after receipt of the settlement payment,” Ridley-Thomas’ lawyers stated in their court papers filed Monday, Dec. 19, with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra.

A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 to address why the case should not be dismissed, but that hearing will be canceled if the case is dropped before then.

Galperin suspended Ridley-Thomas’ pay and benefits after the council member was indicted. Ridley-Thomas and former dean of the USC School of Social Work, Marilyn Flynn, are charged in a 20-count indictment that alleges that in a secret deal then-county supervisor Ridley-Thomas agreed to steer county money to USC if the university admitted his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to graduate school — with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship.

Flynn pleaded guilty in the corruption case in September.

Ridley-Thomas was suspended from the council in October 2021 after his indictment. His lawsuit filed on July 28 alleged that city controller Galperin acted unilaterally to cut Ridley-Thomas’ pay and did so to help his campaign for state controller. Galperin finished fifth in the field of six.

The council voted 10-1 to approve the settlement with Ridley-Thomas. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell cast the lone vote in dissent.

In a statement, Galperin said his earlier decision was “in accordance with city law.”

“I acted because my job as controller and the taxpayers’ watchdog required it,” Galperin said.

The settlement includes $254,000 in back pay and $99,500 in attorneys’ fees.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Daily News

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