Letters to the Editor: L.A. City Council’s shameful, undemocratic treatment of Mark Ridley-Thomas

Then-L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks to reporters after casting his vote in Leimert Park on Nov. 3, 2020.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I commend the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Southern California for the legal action it is taking to protect the rights of Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Replacing Ridley-Thomas with someone else, however well-qualified, amounts to a slap in the face of the voters of the 10th Council District. If this were to happen, we would have the spectacle of a majority of council members substituting their judgment for the will of the thousands of residents of that district who voted in the last election.

Instead, the council should reconsider and reverse its hasty and ill-advised action of suspending Ridley-Thomas after he was indicted on federal corruption charges last year.


Ridley-Thomas has a long record of high-powered and distinguished public service, and his talents are what we need today to help us deal with the difficult issues facing Los Angeles.

Also, surely he is entitled to the same presumption of innocence any of us would want for ourselves.

Rick Tuttle, Culver City

The writer was city controller of Los Angeles from 1985-2001.


To the editor: I am outraged that the Los Angeles City Council would choose to continue to defy the rule of law.

Trying to replace Ridley-Thomas, who received more than 56,000 votes in 2020, with someone who would need only eight votes on the council is more than a “rush to judgment.” It is clearly an unjust act that opposes the rule of law and the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty.

An indictment does not prove guilt, and the idea that the City Council would effectively try, convict and sentence Ridley-Thomas is tantamount to the autocratic behavior that we experienced during our darkest hours of the Trump era.

Charlotte Dobbs, Los Angeles