Ex-state Sen. Calderon seeks another delay in public corruption trial

Ex-state Sen. Calderon seeks another delay in public corruption trial
Then-state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) at his desk in the Capitol last year before he was charged with accepting bribes. He is requesting that his trial be delayed until August. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Faced with a massive amount of discovery material from the FBI, including 2,200 secretly recorded telephone calls and meetings, former state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) has received agreement from federal prosecutors and a judge to delay his corruption trial nearly three months to Aug. 11.

Calderon was indicted in February on federal charges of accepting some $88,000 in cash bribes, as well as gourmet meals and golf outings, in exchange for his influence as a lawmaker.

He is accused of accepting bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film industry executive in exchange for pushing for an extension of tax credits for film productions. Also,  Calderon allegedly took bribes from the owner of a medical firm in exchange for action on legislation involving workers compensation reform.

Calderon's trial was set to begin May 19, but prosecutors filed a request for the delay Tuesday, telling the court "defense counsel represent that failure to grant the continuance would deny them reasonable time necessary for effective preparation..."

Assistant U.S. Attys. Douglas M. Miller and Mack E. Jenkins wrote in the filing that a continuance "is appropriate given the size of the additional discovery and the complexity of the case."

In addition to 280,000 pages of discovery already provided, including 10,000 pages of FBI documents, prosecutors said they expect to give the defense 50,000 pages of discovery next month. It would be the third delay.

A federal judge later approved the continuance, which was also supported by the attorney for former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon, the senator's brother, who is charged with money laundering in the case.

The two sides estimate the trial will take 15 to 20 days, according to the filing.