LAT: Lawmakers, clergy question legality of council’s suspending Mark Ridley-Thomas after indictment
Originally published by LATimes.com, written by Alex Wigglesworth.
Two state legislators are questioning the legality of the Los Angeles City Council’s move to suspend Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas and potentially appoint a voting member to represent his district after the councilman was indicted last year on federal bribery charges.
Ridley-Thomas, whose 10th District includes neighborhoods in South L.A. and Mid-City, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a trial has not yet begun.
In a letter sent Thursday to California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson), chair of the Democratic Caucus, asked the state’s top prosecutor to opine on the constitutionality of suspending an elected official pending the outcome of a judicial proceeding.
They noted the City Council considered the motion to suspend Ridley-Thomas Oct. 20, just 24 hours after it was introduced by Council President Nury Martinez. The council waived the customary public hearing requirements before voting, “effectively discouraging opportunities for 10th Council District constituents to be meaningfully heard on the matter,” the legislators wrote.
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