FBI Raid Targets Ron Calderon, a California State Senator

Image: FBI Raid Targets Ron Calderon, a California State Senator

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 08:23 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A California state senator who is the focus of an FBI corruptions investigation saw the agency swarm his Capitol office in Sacramento on Tuesday, carting out documents for an ongoing investigation, authorities said.

FBI agents raided the offices of State Sen. Ron Calderon and the Latino Legislative Caucus. Calderon is a member of the caucus. After a roughly 90-minute search, agents walked out with boxes of evidence as well as a black briefcase, according to KTLA-TV.

It was the first a raid on a state Capitol office had been conducted in about 25 years, authorities said. FBI agents declined to say what they were looking for in the raids.

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“The affidavit in support is under seal and we are prohibited from commenting,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told KTLA. She said the agency was “taking evidence respective to an ongoing investigation.”

Calderon is part of a political dynasty that stretches back three decades. Since 1983, a member of his family has held a seat in the California state legislature.

Calderon previously came under scrutiny for his handling of his legal defense fund, which was set up to cover costs stemming from a vote recount in 2006. The senator received a warning letter, but he was not penalized.

His attorney, Mark Geragos, blasted the raid in the statement: "The U.S. Attorney's Office should be ashamed of themselves," he said. "They have no case, so what they do is they leak the sealed information in an effort to hassle innocent people, and that's all the comment I have."

When asked about the nature of the investigation, Geragos told the Sacramento Bee, "What they're going after is anything to divert attention from their own misfeasance or malfeasance."

The Sacramento Bee said Calderon flirted with challenging Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez in a newly drawn House district in 2012, but dropped his candidacy after Sanchez secured the Democratic Party endorsement.

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He chairs the Senate insurance committee as well as a special Senate committee on film and the television industry.

Calderon was one of the authors of 2012 legislation extending the state’s film tax credit incentive program for two years with $100 million each year. The state film commission announced the latest round of yearly allocations to 31 projects on Tuesday, according to Variety.

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