L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas Convicted of Corruption

Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was found guilty of seven counts of public corruption Thursday, including conspiracy, bribery, honest services mail fraud and four counts of honest services wire fraud. The same jury acquitted him of 12 other counts.

Prosecutors alleged that Ridley-Thomas steered county contracts to USC in exchange for his son's scholarship and teaching job. The crimes took place when he was a Los Angeles County supervisor.

Ridley-Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14. He had already been suspended from the City Council, but will now be barred from serving permanently.

Reactions poured in from L.A.'a political establishment, and many of them were surprisingly positive for a man just convicted of multiple crimes.

“The Mark Ridley-Thomas I know is the tireless champion, the relentless advocate, the unstoppable force,” wrote former City Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Mayor Karen Bass also made note of his accomplishments.

Pastor William D. Smart Jr., who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, described the prosecution as "a U.S. government railroad of another Black man.” 

Read more about the trial and verdict at the Los Angeles Times.

This article has been updated.