California State Senate Formally Suspends Two Democrats Charged With Corruption

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Calif. State Senate Votes To Suspend SoCal Lawmakers

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Two Southern California state lawmakers were among a trio of Democratic senators who were suspended Friday over criminal charges.

KNX 1070′s Megan Goldsby reports the vote comes after Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco was indicted this week on federal charges that included accepting bribes and coordinating an international gun-running operation.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg called for the vote to suspend Yee and Democratic senators Ron Calderon and Rod Wright.

Wright (D-Inglewood) was convicted in February of living outside the district he was elected to represent. Calderon (D-Montebello) was indicted on federal corruption charges involving bribes, kickbacks and fraud. He pleaded not guilty last month.

Calderon’s 59-year-old brother, Tom, is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and seven counts of money laundering for allegedly funneling bribe money through a nonprofit group and consulting company he operates.

Yee was arrested on Wednesday over allegations the lawmaker – who authored gun control legislation – asked for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker.

The Senate voted 28-1 to suspend all three lawmakers, who will continue to collect their $95,000 salaries but will not be able to cast any votes in the Senate, the Associated Press reported.

Steinberg was expected to seek a constitutional amendment that would deny the legislators pay while suspended.

State Senator Ron Calderon (left) and State Senator Roderick Wright were suspended by the state Senate Friday. (credit: senate.ca.gov)

The vote finalizes the Democrats’ loss of their super-majority in Sacramento, dropping the party below the two-thirds supermajority they claimed during the 2012 election.