Calif. Lawmaker Convicted of Voter Fraud, Perjury

Linda Deutsch, SF Gate, January 28, 2014

California state Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted Tuesday of perjury and voter fraud for falsely claiming he lived in an apartment in the district he represents when he actually lives elsewhere.

The conviction on all eight felony counts doesn’t immediately bar Wright from the Senate, though his colleagues could decide to remove the long-serving Democrat before he is sentenced.


Prosecutors said Wright committed fraud when he made it appear that he had moved into an Inglewood property he owned in order to run in 2008 to represent the 25th Senate District. {snip}

Rod Wright

Rod Wright

Wright was charged with counts including perjury, false declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting. He could face a maximum of eight years and four months in prison when he is sentenced on March 12.

Wright currently represents the 35th Senate District because of redistricting.

“It’s a punch to the gut,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said of Wright’s conviction. “We hold Sen. Wright in high regard.”

Steinberg said it is up to the Senate, not the court, to decide if Wright should be removed from office. He said he will consult with his fellow senators, the Legislature’s lawyers and Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, chairman of the Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics, before deciding on any possible next steps.

Wright’s conviction came as the state Senate waits to see if federal charges will be filed against another Los Angeles-area state lawmaker. Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello was removed from his committee assignments after a leaked FBI affidavit alleged that he accepted money to influence legislation.


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