Sen. Calderon Responds to Calls for Resignation

By City News Service

A group of local elected officials gathered in Bell Gardens Wednesday to demand the resignation of Sen. Ron Calderon, who is under investigation as part of a federal bribery probe.

“You need to resign,” Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo said. “We’ve worked very hard to fix the corruption that exists in these cities, and [that] you are continuing to remain in office is a shame to all the cities you represent. Resign, Calderon.”

Downey Mayor Mario Guerra added, “Senator Calderon has violated our public trust and does not deserve to represent the people of this fine district.”

Calderon, D-Montebello, has not been charged with a crime, and he has denied any wrongdoing.

Al Jazeera America recently reported the contents of what it called a sealed FBI affidavit, outlining allegations that Calderon had accepted thousands of dollars in bribes to influence legislation. The affidavit described a relationship between Calderon and an undercover agent posing as a film studio executive, and alleged that Calderon accepted bribes from the agent in return for legislative action on film tax credits, according to Al Jazeera America.

Calderon’s offices were raided by the FBI earlier this year.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Artesia, called for Calderon’s resignation last month and was among those who organized and attended today’s news conference. Calderon has lashed out at her for “making a mockery” of his presumed innocence.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, center in blue, speaks at a press conference in Bell Gardens Wednesday where she and local city officials asked Senator Ron Calderon to step down amid allegations of corruption.  (Courtesy of the Office of Cristina Garcia)

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, center in blue, speaks at a press conference in Bell Gardens Wednesday where she and local city officials asked Senator Ron Calderon to step down amid allegations of corruption. (Courtesy of the Office of Cristina Garcia)

In response to the latest calls for his resignation, Calderon again accused Garcia of acting in “an opportunistic way.”

“Without knowing the full story and waiting to hear all the facts in this case, she has assumed the role of judge and jury by calling for my resignation,” Calderon said.

“… It is now clear that she is a politician after all – quite an ambitious one at that,” he said. “I would not wish on my worst enemy what I have been going through…but I do hope that Ms. Garcia comes to understand that what has happened to me could happen to anyone in public office. Sometimes one is better served to act in kindness than in self-righteousness because all politicians live in glass houses.”

Calderon has been stripped of his legislative committee assignments and from the executive board of the Latino Caucus in response to the ongoing federal probe.

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November 14, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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