Dean Marilyn Flynn Sentenced, Implications for Ridley-Thomas

D.T. Carson

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer sentenced former USC Dean Marilyn Flynn to three years probation—including 18 months of electronically-monitored home confinement—and a fine of $150,000 for her role in the high profile bribery case involving former Los Angeles Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas.

      It was in September of 2022, that Flynn pled guilty to one count of bribery, stating that she had arranged for the illegal funneling (through USC) of $100,000 on behalf of Ridley-Thomas to the United Ways.

   Consistent with the plea agreement, the government did not seek a custodial sentence, noting competing factors, including Dean’s advanced age of 84, her health and personal history and her acceptance of responsibility.

      “Her error in judgment and loss of ethical grounding that led to her involvement in this case have caused her great personal suffering, feelings of shame and remorse, and the loss of a storied career that she loved. It is the position of the defense that given Dr. Flynn’s lifetime of good works, together with the fact that her conduct in this case did not result in any personal financial gain and was the product of good, but misguided, intentions, a sentence of probation is sufficient but not greater than necessary to comply with the purpose of sentencing,” attorneys for Flynn wrote in their Sentencing Position Paper.

      The recent sentencing of Marilyn Dean Flynn has potentially significant implications for Ridley-Thomas who is set to be sentenced next month and who did not accept a plea deal, instead opting to go on trial which resulted in a subsequent conviction. 

      A mountain of letters attesting to Ridley-Thomas’ legacy, deeds and character have been submitted to the judge and will stand in juxtaposition to a daunting government portrayal of the veteran civil servant.  

      On August 21, Judge Dale Fischer will have her say. Attorneys for Ridley-Thomas have said that they will appeal Ridley-Thomas’ conviction.

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