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Senate GOP leader Huff moves to suspend Wright and Calderon

SACRAMENTO -- Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar introduced resolutions Wednesday that would suspend Democratic Sens. Roderick Wright and Ronald Calderon as a backup in case a separate motion to expel Wright fails.

Wright was granted a paid leave of absence this week after a jury last month found him guilty of eight felony charges of perjury and voter fraud involving false statements he made about living in the district that he represents in the Senate. Calderon was indicted Feb. 21 on federal charges of taking bribes.

Huff is concerned that the Senate Democrats' granting Wright’s request for a voluntary leave would allow him to rescind it at any moment and return to the Senate. If the Senate votes to suspend Wright and Calderon, they could not return without another Senate vote, said Peter DeMarco, a spokesman for Huff.

“The resolutions are in place to ensure that action will be formally taken by the Senate,” DeMarco said.

Resolution 30 reads, in part: "Whereas, Senator Ronald S. Calderon has violated the public trust and undermined the honor and integrity of the California State Senate, now, therefore, be it resolved .... that the Senate hereby suspends Senator Ronald S. Caklderon as a Member of the Senate until such time as his pending criminal indictment has been adjudicated."

Senate Democrats are expected Thursday to block a vote on Senate Resolution 29, by Republican Sens. Andy Vidak, Steve Knight and Joel Anderson, to expel Wright.

In that case, Huff’s Senate Resolutions 30 and 31, suspending Wright and Calderon, would be available to consider, although possibly not Thursday.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has given Calderon until Monday to resign or take a leave of absence. If Calderon refuses to act, Steinberg said he would face a Senate vote to suspend him.

In that case, Huff’s motion could come into play, DeMarco said.

In response to the Huff motions, Steinberg said Wednesday: “With respect to Senator Calderon, I have given him until Monday to consider his options. These Republican resolutions will be addressed if they are brought up on the floor.”

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

 

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