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Former USC dean to plead guilty in bribery case related to Mark Ridley-Thomas: DOJ

The University of Southern California dean who is accused of bribing Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas has agreed to plead guilty to the charge, federal authorities announced Thursday.

Marilyn Louise Flynn, and 83-year-old resident of Los Feliz, will plead guilty to one county of bribery in the coming weeks and will pay a fine of at least $100,000, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Flynn, who was the dean of USC’s School of Social Work, funneled $100,000 in campaign funds provided by Ridley-Thomas through the university and then into a nonprofit operated by the politician’s son, the DOJ said.

In exchange, USC received a “lucrative county contract” at a time when the School of Social Work was facing “multimillion-dollar budget deficit,” the release said. At the time, Ridley-Thomas served on the county’s Board of Supervisors.

According to Flynn’s plea agreement, USC was unaware of the scheme.

Flynn faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, though prosecutors will recommend she be sentenced to home confinement. Prosecutors also agreed to not pursue a fine above $150,000.

Ridley-Thomas has pleaded not guilty to a count of conspiracy, a count of bribery, two counts of mail fraud and 15 counts of wire fraud. He has been suspended from the City Council pending his trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 15.

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