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Republican leader calls for Sen. Wright to resign

Republican leader calls for Sen. Wright to resign
A jury found state Sen. Roderick Wright, shown testifying in his own defense earlier this month, guilty of eight felonies involving lying about where he lived. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- The chairman of the Los Angeles County Republican Party called Tuesday for Sen. Roderick Wright to resign after a jury found the lawmaker guilty of eight felonies involving lying about where he lived.

But Republican and Democratic colleagues said it was too early to demand such action by the Inglewood Democrat.

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"It proves beyond any doubt there is something seriously wrong with the absolute power that Democrats have amassed in Sacramento and the lengths they have gone and will go to collect and keep it," said Mark Vafiades, chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County.

He called on Republicans in the state Senate to "stand and be counted.  They can't take a pass on pursuing this."

However, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar said he wants to consult with colleagues and legal counsel “before entertaining any discussion” of possible next steps.

"Today's ruling is troubling, and we take it very seriously. There is no quick, immediate answer as to what comes next," Huff said. "Sen. Wright has been a respected member of the Legislature, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve with him."

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) agreed that he wants to meet with colleagues and attorneys to decide what to do.

"Its a punch to the gut," Steinberg told reporters when he heard the news. "We hold Sen. Wright in high regard."

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