LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With the message about federal corruption charges against Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and a former dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, the university’s scandal-plagued reputation has taken another hit.
The federal indictment against one of Los Angeles’ most prominent figures in urban politics is not the first scandal linked to the USC. The prestigious college has been associated with a handful of headline-grabbing failures dating back years, several of which took place over the past decade.
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“He took pictures of me in 1990 … and it was very disturbing,” said Audry Nafziger, a sexual assault survivor.
In March this year, the university agreed to pay more than $ 1 billion to patients at then-campus gynecologist George Tyndall, who was accused of assaulting and sacrificing hundreds of women, some of whom spoke out against him in court. A lawyer for some of the women pointed the finger at the school, saying officials knew about the abuse way back in 1990, but did not do enough to stop it.
The scandal cost USC President Max Nikias his job.
The former dean of USC’s School of Medicine, Dr. Carmen Puliafito, resigned in 2016 after a scandal that linked him to the overdose of a 21-year-old prostitute in a hotel room in Pasadena. Part of the incident was reportedly chronicled in a call from 911.
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Puliafito raised more than $ 1 billion for USC. The university was accused of ignoring its drug abuse on campus and even in the operating room for years.
Most recently in 2019, the college admissions scandal, referred to as “Operation Varsity Blues,” attracted attention from around the world.
Wealthy and influential parents were accused of working with a fixer to bribe college officials to allow their child to go to school, some of whom fraudulently disguised their children as athletes.
Actress Laurie Loughlin served two months in prison and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Gianulli, also spent time behind bars.
Five former USC athletics staff were indicted in federal court in the wake of this scandal. The university said it was shocked and upset by the news and promised to bring change.
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Carol Folt became the university’s twelfth president in 2019, and she promised to change the university’s culture for the better. She will now have to face another scandal linked to the university.
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