Mark Ridley-Thomas Sentenced to Three and a Half Years in Prison

Former L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was sentenced to 42 months in prison Monday for crimes he committed when he sat on the county’s board of supervisors. Ridley-Thomas has also been ordered to pay a fine of $30,000.

Five months ago, Ridley-Thomas was found guilty of seven counts of public corruption, including conspiracy, bribery, honest services mail fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors alleged that, as a member of the board, Ridley-Thomas steered county contracts to the University of Southern California (USC). In exchange, his son got a full scholarship and teaching job. 

United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer acknowledged Ridley-Thomas’ years of service to his community and the “enormous good” he had done. But he victimized that same community by engaging in public corruption and showed “no remorse” once caught, the judge said.

In a statement, Ridley-Thomas admitted that his actions may have been “ill-advised,” but not illegal. He’s appealing the conviction.