Sen. Ronald Calderon raises $28,000 for legal defense fund

SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) has raised $28,000 for his legal defense fund as he faces an FBI investigation into allegations that he accepted bribes in exchange for action on legislation.

He had paid $25,000 of the money, as of Dec. 31, to high-profile defense attorney Mark Geragos.

The biggest donation, $7,500, came from utility company Pacific Gas & Electric, with another $5,000 from a group called Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy.

Major donors to the latter group include the Anheuser Busch Cos., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Chevron Corp. and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which operates a casino.

Calderon has not been charged with a crime, but a leaked FBI affidavit included allegations that he accepted $88,000 in bribes from a medical company owner and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive to act on bills changing workers' compensation laws and extending film tax credits.

He has denied any wrongdoing.


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