Following the indictment of Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas on federal accusations of bribery and other offenses one week ago, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday decided to suspend Ridley-Thomas from his position.
After Ridley-Thomas stated that he would "pull back" from participation in City Council meetings and committees, the council voted to suspend him by a vote of 11 to 3. Ridley-Thomas, who has categorically denied any misconduct, has said that he would not step down.
“They have removed from action a member — and his team — who together are among the most productive and effective advocates on the crisis of homelessness,” Ridley-Thomas said. “I will continue fighting to clear my name, and I remain confident that such will be the case.”
Following the decision, Ridley-Thomas issued a statement in which she claimed that the council had disenfranchised the people of the 10th District.
Council members had decided to suspend one of their own for the second time in as many months (16 months total). Councilman Jose Huizar was suspended in June 2020 after he was accused of bribery and corruption in a federal corruption investigation. Huizar was essentially expelled from the council; he has disputed the accusations against him, and the matter has not yet been brought to a court of justice.
Ridley-Thomas' attorney issued a warning in a letter dated Wednesday morning to City Attorney Mike Feuer and the City Council, stating that any suspension of the councilman would be unconstitutional.
Avis Ridley-Thomas, the husband of Ridley-Thomas, expressed her dissatisfaction with the decision in a series of tweets sent late Tuesday night.