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Morning Brief: Mark Ridley-Thomas, Atmospheric Rivers, And Barbra Streisand

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas is photographed in a headshot wearing a charcoal suit, blue shirt and tie.
Mark Ridley-Thomas
( Courtesy of Mark Ridley-Thomas )
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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.

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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

Before You Go ... Barbra Streisand Makes Her Mark At UCLA

Barbra Streisand is shown onstage speaking into a microphone. She wears a long-sleeved black sequined gown and matching beret-style hat.
Barbra Streisand speaks onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2019.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Getty Images North America)

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.

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