Heather Hutt was nominated Tuesday to serve the remainder of Mark Ridley-Thomas’ term on the Los Angeles City Council.
Ridley-Thomas, a longtime politician in Los Angeles, was convicted earlier this month of federal bribery. Hutt temporarily replaced the representative for District 10 while the legal proceedings unfold.
His nomination ended Tuesday in an 11-to-1 vote. Hutt spoke through tears at the meeting.
“It’s not an easy place to live, but with all the support we’ve had here, I’m going to keep working,” Hutt said. “I signed on to do the job and my mom raised us to work for our people. I just want to say thank you.
“And now I’m going to put on my glasses and we’re going to work.”
Ridley-Thomas was found guilty of bribery and conspiracy, and other counts. Hutt will complete the remainder of Ridley-Thomas’ term which runs until December 2024.
Sentencing of Ridley-Thomas, 68, of South Los Angeles, is scheduled for April 14. Ridley-Thomas was suspended from city council in 2021.
Hutt was temporarily appointed by the board to the post in September 2022.
Hutt has announced his intention to run for a full term in the 2024 election.
Mayor Karen Bass released a statement saying she looks forward to continuing to work with Hutt to address the city’s critical issues.
“Councilwoman Hutt has an exemplary public service record and I know the people of City Council District 10 will benefit from her continued leadership,” Bass said.
There was stiff opposition at Tuesday’s meeting from voters, including local civil rights leaders, who wanted the city to call an immediate special election. Councilwoman Mónica Rodríguez was the only one to vote “no”.
“It’s really embarrassing for me that we’re back in this conversation, and I understand how frustrating and upsetting it is for people in the neighborhood,” Rodriguez said. “I understand because disenfranchised communities are no different than what we see in Council District 6 right now. But we are honoring a process in Council District 6 with democracy, with a special election so that people have the opportunity to choose and elect their representative.”
In response to Rodriguez’s comments, Krekorian said the circumstances leading up to the special election in the Sixth District are different from events that unfolded after Ridley-Thomas was impeached and his seat vacated.
Ridley-Thomas previously served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1991 to 2002, then in the State Assembly and State Senate before being elected to the powerful County Board of Supervisors in 2008, serving until in 2020, when he returned to the city council.
He holds a doctorate in social ethics from USC and spent 10 years as executive director of the Greater Los Angeles South Christian Leadership Conference, beginning in 1981.
Ridley-Thomas’ sentencing came less than a week before a special election in Council District 6 to fill the vacant seat once held by Nury Martinez, who resigned after an audio leak that included racist comments about the Afro son American from a classmate. Seven candidates are vying for the position representing the San Fernando Valley.
His term expired in December 2024.