Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to pay indicted Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas roughly $265,000, with another $99,500 going to his legal team nearly a year after he was suspended from his position while facing federal corruption charges. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, $131,863 is being paid as salary (back pay) covering the time period from October 2021 through the end of next week, with the remaining $131,688 to cover future earnings through June 2023. The issue in question was Controller Ron Galperin’s move to terminate Ridley-Thomas’ salary and benefits. According to Galperin, “the measure taken by my office was in accordance with city law.” However, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer seems to disagree by recommending the council approve the negotiated settlement.
For those watching L.A. City expenditures, with this settlement agreement, the city will be paying two councilmembers’ salaries for one district. The City Council appointed Heather Hutt to serve in Ridley-Thomas’ place, so she also receives a full salary.