Morning Brief: Mark Ridley-Thomas, Atmospheric Rivers, And Barbra Streisand
Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 20.
City and county officials are taking action over the revelation that L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas will face a federal indictment for his alleged involvement in a bribery scheme.
Ridley-Thomas’s fellow city councilmembers will vote today at 11:15 a.m. on a motion to suspend him, and the county board of supervisors voted yesterday to open an investigation into all the contracts connected to the indictment. (Ridley-Thomas was a member of the board of supervisors when the alleged bribes took place).
Federal prosecutors allege that while serving on the board of supervisors, Ridley-Thomas backed lucrative contracts for USC's School of Social Work and, in exchange, secured a job for his son, among other substantial benefits.
Marilyn Flynn, the former dean of the USC School of Social Work, is also facing federal charges for her alleged role in the incidents. It’s reported that the contracts secured through Ridley-Thomas could have brought in as much as $9 million for the school.
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If the city council votes in favor of a suspension today, Ridley-Thomas would be barred from participating in council activities including executing contracts and using discretionary funds. He would also lose his salary, according to L.A. Controller Ron Galperin.
"No one indicted for public corruption and suspended by the City Council should receive a taxpayer-funded salary," Galperin said.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Unvaccinated L.A. city workers must get vaccinated by December, but in the meantime, they’ll have $130 per week deducted from their paycheck to cover the cost of testing for the virus on their own time.
- L.A. County officials voted unanimously to explore having county mental health professionals, instead of armed cops, respond to mental health crises aboard Metro.
- Starting Wednesday, a series of three atmospheric rivers is set to make landfall over Northern California.
- Upscale meat purveyor Belcampo Meat Co. has closed its doors in the wake of a scandal.
Before You Go ... Barbra Streisand Makes Her Mark At UCLA
You may think of Babs as her characters from Funny Girl, Yentl or A Star Is Born, but Ms. Streisand is also devoted to social issues. Now, thanks to a large donation, she’ll have an institute at UCLA named for her, which will allow researchers to study a wide range of social issues, from climate change to gender roles and power dynamics.