State Sen. Ronald Calderon, brother indicted in corruption scandal

State Sen. Ron Calderon during the first Senate session of the new year at the Capitol in Sacramento in January.

State Sen. Ron Calderon during the first Senate session of the new year at the Capitol in Sacramento in January.

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon and his brother, Tom, have been indicted on public corruption charges, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed Friday.

The indictments stem from a corruption investigation into southeast Los Angeles politics that has centered on the Calderon family.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not elaborate on the specific charges, but in a court document sent to The Times, said FBI agents confronted Ronald Calderon during a meeting in Las Vegas in May 2012, after which he agreed to wear a “wire” as part of the investigation.

The U.S. attorney’s office has scheduled a noon news conference that it said would deal with “charges being filed in a political corruption matter and a case involving a massive healthcare fraud scheme.”


A law enforcement source with knowledge of the case said the announcement will involve the yearlong investigation into Calderon (D-Montebello).

GRAPHIC: Calderon family connections

An affidavit obtained last year by Al Jazeera America includes allegations that Ronald Calderon accepted $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent and a businessman to affect legislation to extend film-industry tax credits and to change workers’ compensation laws.

The document also said there was also probable cause to believe that Ronald Calderon “participated in a separate bribery scheme with Michael D. Drobot,” the chief executive officer of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. The lawmaker allegedly accepted $28,000 from Drobot in exchange for “supporting legislation that would delay or limit changes in California’s workers’ compensation laws,” the affidavit said.

The Times has also reported that the FBI investigation has looked into the Central Basin Municipal Water District, where Calderon’s brother Tom worked as a consultant.

Both Calderons have denied wrongdoing.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to provide specifics about the charges but said several people faced criminal charges in the matter.