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Suspended LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas has salary reinstated

Suspended LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas has salary reinstated
Suspended LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas has salary reinstated 03:29

Suspended Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is facing federal corruption charges for alleged misdeeds committed while he was a member of the county Board of Supervisors, had his city salary and benefits reinstated by the council today.

City Controller Ron Galperin had suspended Ridley-Thomas' pay and benefits after the councilman's indictment and suspension from the council last October.

Ridley-Thomas reached a $364,573 settlement in his lawsuit against the city controller and the city. The lawsuit claimed that 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 Councilman Mitch O'Farrell casting the lone vote in dissent. In a statement, Galperin maintained that his 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.

Councilman Curren Price said the council decision "corrects an action that should have never been allowed to happen in the first place."

Price, along with Council President Paul Krekorian, introduced two motions earlier this year asking the city attorney to determine if the city controller has the authority to withhold Ridley-Thomas' pay.

"It is clear the City Controller made a rush to judgment without merit and I'm pleased by the council's decision to resolve this matter fairly," Price said. "Council member Ridley-Thomas has a right to due process and that should take place in the court of law."

Ridley-Thomas and former dean of the USC School of Social Work Marilyn Flynn were charged in a 20-count indictment alleging a secret deal in which Ridley-Thomas, when he was a county supervisor, agreed to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship.

Flynn pleaded guilty in September.

In exchange, the indictment contends, Ridley-Thomas supported county contracts involving the School of Social Work, including lucrative deals to provide services to the county Department of Children and Family Services and Probation Department, as well as an amendment to a contract with the Department

of Mental Health that would bring the school millions of dollars in new revenue.

Ridley-Thomas sued the city and Galperin in July, seeking a ruling to strike down the decision as unlawful, along with attorneys' fees.

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