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California lawmaker's bribery trial postponed until he leaves office
July 23, 2014 / 9:26 PM / 3 years ago

California lawmaker's bribery trial postponed until he leaves office

(Reuters) - California state Senator Ron Calderon’s trial on bribery charges has been delayed until after he leaves office this year.

California Senator Ron Calderon watches Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (not pictured) as he signs into law a bill that would move the date of the California presidential primary from June to February during a ceremony at the governor's mansion in Sacramento, California, in this March 15, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/William Foster/Office of Governor Schwarzenegger/Handout via Reuters/Files

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder, in a court order on Tuesday, rescheduled the suspended Democratic lawmaker’s trial to May 19 from Sept. 16, finding that not pushing the case back would deny Calderon’s lawyers the time they need to prepare their defense.

Calderon is one of three California state senators, along with Democrats Roderick Wright and Leland Yee, who were suspended over ethics charges, costing their party a cherished two-thirds legislative majority in the Senate during an election year.

Calderon, who has been in the California Senate for 12 years and who had served four years in the state Assembly, is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with taking some $100,000 in cash bribes, along with plane trips, golf outings and jobs for his children, in exchange for influencing legislation.

He has pleaded not guilty to two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.

His brother, Tom Calderon, a former member of the California State Assembly, also was named in the indictment and charged with conspiracy and seven counts of money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty.

Ron Calderon, who was arrested and later freed on $50,000 bond, has taken a leave of absence from the California Senate, and he will be forced to leave office at the end of the 2014 Senate session because of term limits.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Beech

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