In a plot to obtain advantages for his son in exchange for supporting lucrative government contracts with the University of Southern California School of Social Work, a longtime lawmaker from Los Angeles was sentenced to 312 years in prison on Monday.
In U.S. District Court, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was most recently a member of the city council, was sentenced for seven felonies, including conspiracy, bribery, and fraud, stemming from his tenure on the influential Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Additionally, Ridley-Thomas, 68, was mandated to pay a $30,000 punishment by Judge Dale S. Fischer.
A jury ruled in March that Ridley-Thomas and Marilyn Louise Flynn, the former dean of USC’s School of Social Work, conspired in 2017 and 2018 to use the institution to transfer $100,000 from a Ridley-Thomas campaign fund to a nonprofit organisation led by his son.
In the course of the conspiracy and bribery plan, the son allegedly also earned graduate school admittance, a scholarship, and a paid professorship.
Flynn, 84, was given 11 and a half years of house confinement after entering a guilty plea to one count of bribery last year.
After being accused and having his seat declared vacant upon conviction, Ridley-Thomas was placed on administrative leave by the City Council in October 2021.
A once-powerful figure in LA politics who had previously served in the state Senate and Assembly and was well-known for his work on civil rights saw a startling fall from grace.