Prosecutors seek to admit new evidence against former Sen. Calderon

Prosecutors seek to admit new evidence against former Sen. Calderon
State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) sits at his desk in the Capitol before his indictment last year on corruption charges. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Federal prosecutors who last year charged former state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon with corruption asked a court Monday to be allowed to bring in additional evidence, including allegations of tax fraud.

The new evidence is needed to prove that Calderon and his brother, former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon, "had the requisite knowledge and intent to commit the crimes charged in the indictment,'' according to the motion filed by Assistant U.S. Atty. Douglas Miller.

The former Sen. Ronald Calderon is accused of accepting $80,000 in bribes from a medical company owner and an undercover officer posing as a film producer to influence legislation. Thomas Calderon is charged with money laundering. Both have pleaded not guilty.

In 2011, Ronald Calderon "falsely reported on his son's 2010 tax return that approximately $6,826 of the $10,000 in bribes" received from a medical company owner "was spent on business expenses his son incurred when, in fact, his son had not incurred that amount of business expenses," the court filing says.

The court filing also alleges that in 2007 and 2008, Ronald Calderon hired an unidentified elected public official at a local agency to serve on his Senate staff. "According to a confidential source," the court filing says, Ronald Calderon continued to pay the local official, "even after other members of [his] staff complained that the local official rarely showed up for work."

The senator kept the official on at the direction of Thomas Calderon,  "who feared that his company, the Calderon Group, would lose its consulting contract with the agency where the local official worked" if the official was fired, prosecutors allege. Thomas Calderon had a consulting contract for years with the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

A separate filing Monday by the U.S. attorney's office sought a protective order that would allow it to prevent the public identification of three undercover FBI agents who will testify in the August trial. The agents should be able to wear disguising facial hair and hairstyles because public disclosure of their true identities "will pose a risk of danger to the [agents], and jeopardize other undercover investigations," prosecutors argued.