Ethics panel briefed by independent counsel on Sen. Ronald S. Calderon

State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) works at his desk during a Senate session earlier this month. He was reassigned to the corner desk pending the outcome of a federal corruption investigation.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- The state Senate’s ethics panel was briefed behind closed doors Monday by an independent counsel on his investigation into misconduct allegations involving Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello).

The briefing was called by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), chairman of the Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics, who said afterward that the review by independent counsel Charles J. Stevens was not yet complete.

“We met to begin the conversation with the outside counsel,” Roth said afterward. “He has not finished the review that we asked him to do of the affidavit and the allegations contained in it.”


Roth said he expects another briefing of the committee in the next few weeks before a possible determination on whether to pursue an accusation against Calderon. The committee has the power to hold hearings on allegations against a lawmaker and recommend punishment ranging from reprimand to expulsion.

Stevens, a former federal prosecutor, is examining the allegations in 124-page sealed FBI affidavit obtained and released in October by the Al Jazeera America cable television network.

The affidavit includes allegations that 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.

Calderon has not been charged with a crime, and he denies wrongdoing.

The Senate review is taking place while the U.S. attorney’s office is continuing its own investigation into Calderon, a probe that became known when the FBI raided his Capitol offices in June.


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