Calderon is accused of accepting and soliciting 100 thousand dollars in bribes. He was arraigned today in federal court on 24 counts including bribery and money laundering. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said, for now, his party is going to hold off on expelling Calderon from office.
“Senator Calderon has been accused of very serious crimes,” Steinberg said. “But he hasn’t been convicted of anything. And, thus, expulsion would be premature.”
Steinberg defended his decision not to take similar action against Democratic Senator Rod Wright. Wright was recently convicted of eight felonies for voter fraud and perjury after a jury found he lied about whether he lives within his district. Steinberg said the circumstances of the cases are different.
“I considered each of these situations on their merits,” he said. “And in my view, at the time, and now, suspending Senator Wright was not a recommendation that I felt was the right one to make to my colleagues.”
But Steinberg said if Wright loses his current appeal he will no longer be able to serve in the state Senate.
California lawmakers are turning their attention to fixing the state’s crumbling roads. Assembly Republicans threw their plan into the mix Monday.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the California budget with no fanfare Thursday.
California lawmakers will take final votes on the state budget Friday. The houses will also each vote on several trailer bills that dictate how the budget will be implemented.
Advocates for the developmentally disabled are furious after being left out of this year’s California budget deal. They held a tense rally at the Capitol Wednesday.
California tends to rank near the bottom in voter turnout. But some state officials say a bill announced Wednesday could help improve participation.