Los Angeles City Council President Nuri Martinez on Tuesday proposed the removal of councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas from office just days after federal authorities charged him with bribery.
The proposal, backed by City Councilor Mitch O’Farrell, calls on the council to “immediately suspend [Ridley-Thomas] from the office of the 10th District Councilor of the Los Angeles City Council. “
Council members will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to consider the suspension. If approved by the council, Ridley-Thomas will be banned from attending council and committee meetings, fulfilling contracts, using discretionary funds, and participating in constitutional services.
The offer came the day after Ridley-Thomas sent a letter to the council announcing that he would “step back” from attending city council meetings and committees.
Martinez’s proposal notes that the city’s charter allows the council to “remove from office any elected official against whom a criminal case has been brought against them for such crimes.”
“As acknowledged in a letter sent by councilor Mark Ridley Thomas, the city council should be able to“ conduct business with minimal distractions, ”Martinez’s proposal says. “Council members have a responsibility to serve this city and its districts and make decisions on behalf of the people who elected them to office. Any action that undermines public confidence or calls into question the integrity of an institution requires the Council to act to maintain that trust. “
Her petition also notes that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Ridley-Thomas, whose borough includes the South Los Angeles and Mid City neighborhoods, did not attend Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The council took similar action last year after then-city councilor José Huizar was arrested and charged in a sprawling corruption case.