Ex-Sen. Wright appeals voter fraud conviction

State Sen. Roderick Wright, with his attorney Winston Kevin McKesson, left, listens to a judge after jury convicted him in January of fraud and perjury for living outside his Senate district.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Attorneys for former Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright said Monday they have filed a notice of appeal of Wright’s conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud for lying about living in his district.

The notice begins the process of preparing the record of the trial court in which a jury found Wright guilty of eight felonies and a Superior Court judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail, 1,500 hours of community service and three years’ probation. County jail officials, citing jail overcrowding, released Wright as soon as he was processed, in about an hour and a half, without serving any jail time.

An appeal will not likely be heard until mid to late 2015, according to Fred Woocher, who is handling the appeal along with San Francisco attorney John W. Kecker.


Wright resigned from the Senate after his sentencing in September. The notice of appeal is dated Nov. 4.

Wright’s trial attorney, Winston Kevin McKesson, said there are multiple possible grounds for an appeal including that the California Constitution grants the state Senate, not the courts, the jurisdiction for deciding whether a senator is fit to serve in office.

He also said the jury was told the key issue was where Wright lived at a certain point, not where his domicile was located. McKesson said the prosecution failed to meet a requirement to show that Wright knew he was acting illegally and did it anyway.

“I am extremely confident (in the appeal) if we can find a panel that will follow the law,” McKesson said.