Mark Ridley-Thomas’ attorneys file suit settlement notice

Attorneys for suspended City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas -- who is facing federal corruption charges for misdeeds allegedly committed while he was a member of the county Board of Supervisors -- have formally filed court papers confirming a resolution of his lawsuit against the city and City Controller Ron Galperin over the suspension of his pay and benefits.

The accord comes after the City Council on Dec. 7 voted to reinstate both his salary and benefits and pay Ridley-Thomas a total of $364,573.

"Plaintiff will dismiss his claims after receipt of the settlement payment," Ridley-Thomas' lawyers stated in their court papers filed Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra.

A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 on why the case should not be dismissed, but will be canceled if the case is dropped before then.

Galperin had suspended Ridley-Thomas' pay and benefits after the councilman's indictment.

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Ridley-Thomas was suspended from the council in October 2021 after his indictment. The lawsuit filed July 28 alleged that Galperin acted unilaterally to cut Ridley-Thomas' pay and did so to help his campaign for state controller. Galperin finished fifth in the field of six.

The council voted 10-1 to approve the settlement, with Councilman Mitch O'Farrell casting the lone vote in dissent.

In a statement, Galperin maintained that his decision was "in accordance with city law."

"I acted because my job as controller and the taxpayers' watchdog required it," Galperin said.

The settlement includes $254,000 in back pay and $99,500 in attorneys' fees.

Ridley-Thomas and former dean of the USC School of Social Work Marilyn Flynn were charged in a 20-count indictment alleging a secret deal in which Ridley-Thomas -- when he was a county supervisor -- agreed to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. Flynn pleaded guilty in September.

The City Council's 10th District is currently being represented by Councilwoman Heather Hutt, who was appointed by the council to the seat in September.