Nury Martinez, President of the Los Angeles City Council, introduced a motion to appoint former councilman Herb Wesson to represent the city’s 10th district in replacement of suspended Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas. The motion to appoint him required an eight-vote majority to pass.
“Mr. Wesson cares deeply about the communities he represents and knows the district better than anyone,” Martinez said on the recent proposal. “The constituents of Council District 10 need a voting member who understands their community to represent them within council chambers.”
Ridley-Thomas was suspended in Oct. 2021, as a result of a case that involved Marilyn Flynn, the former dean of the USC School of Social Work, and resulted in his indictment on numerous charges, including bribery.
The case alleges that Flynn had arranged to funnel $100,000 from Ridley-Thomas’ campaign funds through the university and to a nonprofit intended to be operated by his son, a former member of the Assembly.
Harry McElroy, president of the Hepburn Avenue Homeowners Assn. in Leimert Park, argued that Ridley-Thomas’s suspension conflicted with the City Charter, saying that “everyone raises the banner of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in this country, but when they have the actual opportunity to practice it, they decided guilty until proven innocent.”
Previously, an array of community groups has pressed the council to make Wesson a replacement for Ridley-Thomas.
Gina Fields, president of the McClung Bronson Block Club in Leimert Park, said that Wesson would be able to “hit the ground running” if he were to serve in an interim role. He formerly represented the 10th District from 2005 to 2020 and also served as president of the council prior to Martinez, from 2012 to 2020.
“I’ve truly been blessed, and most of my blessings come from people in this district,” Wesson said on Twitter. “My neighbors have once again called on me to serve and it is my responsibility to answer that call. I hope to do the residents of the 10th proud.”
Representatives of Herb Wesson have not yet responded to Los Angeles magazine’s request for comment.
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