Wednesday, January 18, 2023



The Los Angeles City Council Looks Like A Corrupt Racket

The good news is that Californians have had the power of recall since 1911. And now you know why.

Published December 14, 2022 at

By Susan Shelley


Elections have consequences, but before they do, the lame ducks have a few weeks left in office when they can really bite taxpayers.


That’s what just happened in the Los Angeles City Council, which waited until after the November election before voting to take care of one of their own. The council approved a settlement of a lawsuit by suspended colleague Mark Ridley-Thomas that will award him $131,863 in back pay, another $131,688 for his future earnings through June 2023, and about $95,000 for his lawyers.


Ridley-Thomas has been off the job since October 2021, when his colleagues voted to suspend him from the City Council following his indictment on federal charges of corruption.


Corruption, the dictionary says, is dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.


Los Angeles politicians are so adept at corruption, the Summer Olympics in 2028 could include it as a demonstration sport. Then again, maybe the home field advantage is so overwhelming that it would scare the rest of world out of competing.


Ridley-Thomas sued the city for stopping his paychecks, contending that the city had no authority to suspend him over the federal corruption charges because he was charged for alleged crimes committed while he was a member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, before he was a member of the City Council.


The council members approved the negotiated settlement on the recommendation of the office of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who is himself in some hot water after the FBI raided his offices and the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. In April, one of Feuer’s top staff members pleaded guilty to aiding or abetting extortion, which Feuer said made him “furious and disappointed beyond words,” although in February a court filing by another figure in the LADWP case revealed that a complaint had been filed with the State Bar alleging that Feuer had “personal and direct knowledge of the extortion scheme.”


That complaint, asking for an investigation of Feuer for perjury and for aiding and abetting extortion, was filed by Paul Paradis, who served as one of two special counsels to the city of L.A. and the LADWP from January 2015 to March 2019. Paradis has pleaded guilty to bribery and is cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation into public corruption in Los Angeles.


So to recap, the allegedly, sometimes admittedly, corrupt L.A. City Attorney’s Office recommended a settlement of a lawsuit by the allegedly corrupt L.A. City Council member and the lame-duck council approved it.


The financial windfall for Ridley-Thomas arrives three months before the scheduled start of his much-delayed trial on charges of making a backroom deal with a USC dean to send county funds to the university in exchange for helping out Ridley-Thomas’ son Sebastian, who left the state Assembly in 2017. The deal called for Sebastian to be admitted to graduate school at no charge and to receive a paid professorship. The USC dean has already pleaded guilty to bribery in the case.


Another ousted L.A. City Council member, Jose Huizar, is set to go on trial on federal corruption charges on February 21. Like Ridley-Thomas, Huizar is charged with bribery, and like Ridley-Thomas, other players in the deal have pleaded or been found guilty. A Chinese real-estate development company was convicted in November of bribing Huizar with costly gambling trips and a $600,000 loan. Huizar’s brother, Salvador, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of lying to investigators and is now cooperating with prosecutors.


Meanwhile, Councilmember Kevin de Leon is still refusing to resign over racist comments in a leaked recording of a private meeting to discuss manipulating the redistricting process for the maximum political security of himself and his then-colleagues, Nury Martinez and Gil Cedillo, now both ousted from power.


The average annual salary for city council members in the United States, according to the website Comparably, is $37,232. In 2021, Los Angeles City Council members were paid about $218,000 per year, plus benefits, perks, and whatever the FBI has uncovered on them.


The good news is that Californians have had the power of recall since 1911. And now you know why.


Write Susan Shelley: and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Southern California

Republican Women and Men


Next Meeting

Saturday, January 28, 2023

2:30 PM - 5:15 PM






Featuring Keynote by Susan Shelley


  • Columnist / Writer, Southern California News Group
  • Vice President of Communications, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  • Contributor to "The Daily California" podcast with Fox News host Steve Hilton
  • Past Candidate for California Assembly
  • Twitter @Susan_Shelley





  • World-Famous Discussion and Debate Forum
  • Updates from board members, candidates and activists






No comments:

Post a Comment