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Letters to the Editor: What’s the matter with USC? Readers ask again after the Ridley-Thomas indictment

Tommy Trojan statue stands guard over USC's campus near downtown L.A.
Tommy Trojan stands guard over USC’s campus near downtown L.A. The university has recently been at the center of multiple scandals.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Is it taught at USC that it’s wrong to allegedly accept bribes while working as an elected official, or did Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas conveniently forget what he learned while earning his doctorate in, yes, social ethics at the university?

Unlike others who paid bribes to get their unqualified children admitted to USC, the federal indictment alleges that Ridley-Thomas got the university’s School of Social Work to pay his entering son with a full-tuition scholarship and a professorship.

Now it’s USC’s School of Social Work; previously, it was its medical school, athletic department and even the cheerleaders. It’s as if you can’t spell “scandal” without “SC.”

Kathryn Reesman, Palms

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To the editor: USC, which is known as a top research institution, adds another entry on its growing list of scandals with the indictment of its former School of Social Work dean. USC is evolving into the University of Scandals and Corruption.

Los Angeles City Hall, the center of our local government, has become a mere holding cell for indicted councilmembers, as Ridley-Thomas joins the growing list of city officials who have been accused of or associated with public corruption.

Both USC and City Hall have been responsible for shaping and building Los Angeles. It would be reckless to say that these two great local institutions are rotten to the core with corruption, but as more individuals from USC and City Hall are indicted, it’s becoming harder not to say it.

These individuals might serve time in jail, and these institutions will make some minor changes to prevent another scandal. But it will be the ordinary Angeleno who will pay the biggest price. We are forced to live in a situation where no one can do anything meaningful about our problems, because this city is paralyzed by corruption.

Ken Walsh, Los Angeles


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