He's Baaaack!

Category: Community News
Published on Monday, 21 February 2022 14:44
Written by Los Angeles Magazine


Herb Wesson Adds a New Wrinkle to the Nury Martinez-Mark Ridley Thomas Divide

Cityside Column: Heavy politics are at play as elected officials and community members duel over the fate of a suspended officeholder


One of the fiercest, and strangest, battles to hit City Hall in some time is unfolding around the possibility of replacing suspended Councilmember Mark-Ridley Thomas. The issue has already opened a chasm among opposing factions in the 10th District, and its outcome could bolster the district’s influence with city hall and even who will be appointed interim mayor when Eric Garcetti departs to begin his stint as U.S. Ambassador to India later this year.

One week ago, reports that L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez was considering tapping a representative to replace Ridley-Thomas
 cracked open a fissure in the 10th District. Some constituents agree with Martinez’s plan because of the influence that would come with a replacement who could vote on city council matters. But others argue that although Ridley-Thomas has been indicted on federal bribery and fraud charges, only he, as the elected official, should have that position, or that the door should be kept open for his possible return if he is not convicted.

On Wednesday, Martinez made her next move, introducing a motion to appoint former Councilmember Herb Wesson to represent the territory that includes Koreatown, Mid-City and Crenshaw, as a voting member on the 15-person panel. He could have the gig until the end of 2022, or sooner if Ridley-Thomas is acquitted or the charges dropped.

The Wesson gambit has the distinction of making perfect sense—while also being utterly bonkers.

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