By Rick Tuttle, Culver City. The writer was city controller of Los Angeles from 1985-2001.
To the editor: Los Angele City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, just as much as we all are so entitled. It is one thing for a federal grand jury to bring an indictment; it is quite another matter to have a jury arrive at a guilty verdict.
The Times Editorial Board’s argument that Ridley-Thomas should resign the position to which he was elected, because “it’s hard to see how he could continue serving on the City Council effectively and without being a disruptive influence,” is weak.
No one denies that Ridley-Thomas is a formidable and able public servant. The potential good he could accomplish for the people of Los Angeles and his district far outweighs any “disruption” this indictment may cause.
I regret I did not make similar public comment regarding Councilman Jose Huizar after he was indicted last year, but just because I made the mistake of staying silent once doesn’t compel me to make it again. Let Ridley-Thomas stay on the job to which he was elected, and let him and his lawyers make their case in court.
By Mary Lee, Los Angeles
To the editor: The Times is dead wrong in calling for Ridley-Thomas to resign from the City Council.
I am a resident of the 10th District and have no desire to be left without representation in city government, particularly now as so many urgent issues are confronting our community. Homelessness, police reform and pandemic recovery are among the crises we face, along with the critical need for effective and equitable community development.
As The Times has long documented, these are all among the issues that Ridley-Thomas has addressed courageously and effectively during his long tenure in public service. Progress in the 10th District is underway and must not be interrupted.
Mary Lee, Los Angeles