A courtroom artist holds a rendering of suspended Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas
A courtroom artist holds a rendering of suspended Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas after he was convicted on federal corruption charges.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)


Mark Ridley-Thomas was found guilty March 30, 2023, of seven federal charges related to special benefits his son received at USC in exchange for steering Los Angeles County contracts to the university’s School of Social Work while he was on the county Board of Supervisors.

Ridley-Thomas, 68, was convicted of conspiracy, bribery, honest services mail fraud and four counts of honest services wire fraud. The suspended L.A. city councilman was acquitted of a dozen other charges.

With the conviction, Ridley-Thomas will be permanently removed from his City Council seat, according to the City Charter. He had been suspended for the last 17 months, a week after he was indicted on Oct. 13, 2021.

Ridley-Thomas could face years in federal prison, a devastating fall for a man who for more than 30 years was a power broker in L.A. politics and a vocal advocate for civil rights and racial justice.

Key events

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Too many Angelenos are angry that Ridley-Thomas, who cared so much about justice, was found guilty of corruption. In their minds, that means justice wasn’t served. But it was.

Inside the deliberations that led jurors to convict Ridley-Thomas on 7 of 19 federal charges in the corruption case.

April 4, 2023

The acclaim, coming right after a jury’s guilty verdict, showed the huge base of friendship and support Mark Ridley-Thomas amassed over three decades in office.

April 2, 2023

A jury found the longtime politician guilty in a sprawling federal case involving a quid pro quo with USC. Replacing him won’t be easy for Black L.A.

March 30, 2023

Mayor Karen Bass described convicted Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas as a champion of the city, a thought leader and “a policymaker who made a real impact.”

March 30, 2023

L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian called on his colleagues to reappoint Heather Hutt as the District 10 council member.