Former USC Dean Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Ridley-Thomas Bribery, Fraud Charges

11 months ago 129

Marilyn Flynn, erstwhile dean of the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work, pleaded not blameworthy Oct. 25 to national charges of bribery and fraud successful a strategy involving Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas.

On Oct. 13, Ridley-Thomas and Flynn were indicted connected 20 counts of bribery and fraud for allegedly conspiring to supply Ridley-Thomas’ lad with benefits including admission, a afloat scholarship, and a paid professorship successful speech for Ridley-Thomas’s enactment of contracts that would make millions successful caller gross for the school.

Ridley-Thomas and Flynn besides allegedly came up with a “mechanism to funnel Ridley-Thomas run funds done the assemblage to a non-profit to beryllium operated by the relative,” according to a connection by the U.S. Attorney.

When Ridley-Thomas approached Flynn astir the deal, the School of Social Work was facing a multimillion-dollar fund deficit, putting the school, arsenic good arsenic Flynn’s position, successful jeopardy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.

A USC spokesperson said successful a connection that the schoolhouse disclosed the contented to the U.S. Attorney’s bureau successful 2018 erstwhile it learned that $100,000 successful run funds had been funneled from Ridley-Thomas’s run done the schoolhouse and past passed connected to his son’s nonprofit, and that they person been “fully cooperating” since then.

Flynn, 83, was dean of the schoolhouse for 21 years.

Both Ridley-Thomas and Flynn are charged with 1 number of conspiracy, 1 region of bribery. Both are besides charged with 2 counts of “honest services” message fraud and 15 counts of “honest services”
wire fraud.

On Oct. 20, Ridley-Thomas pleaded not blameworthy to charges astatine his arraignment; the aforesaid day, helium was suspended from his City Council position, and his wage and benefits were frozen.

The conspiracy number alleged successful the indictment carries a punishment of up to 5 years successful national prison. Each bribery number carries a maximum imaginable condemnation of 10 years. Each of the message fraud and ligament fraud charges transportation a maximum of 20 years.

Flynn’s attorney, Vicki I. Podberesky, said her lawsuit “has not committed immoderate crime, and we judge that the grounds successful this lawsuit volition yet enactment this conclusion.”

Flynn’s tentative proceedings day is acceptable for Dec. 21, with a presumption league connected Nov. 8. Flynn is presently retired of custody connected a $50,000 unsecured bond.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Micaela Ricaforte