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Update on Calderon FBI Raid: Latino Caucus Office Also Raided, Part of LA County Corruption Investigation

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2013

Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello)

Senator Ron Calderon
(D-Montebello)

OC Political blogger Allen Wilson reported two hours ago that the FBI had raided the Capitol office of Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).  Matt Rexroad of Meridian Pacific notes ironically that Calderon represents the City of Bell in the State Senate.

In addition to raiding Calderon’s Capitol office, the FBI also raided the office of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, located in the Legislative Office Building, which is across street from the Capitol.  Calderon is a member of the Caucus, but the Chair is Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and the Vice Chair is Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella).  Lara told the LA Times he had “no idea” why the Caucus office was being raided.  Calderon and his staff have not responded to requests for comment from various media sources. (Update – June 5, 8:20 PM: The Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms has issued a retraction of their statement from yesterday; the Caucus office was not raided – it was a second Calderon office.  Scroll to the end of this post for the full update.)

The two raids were executed based on an investigation by the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  (The Central District of California consists of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.)

Though the warrants are sealed, multiple media sources have reported this is part of a wider federal investigation into public corruption in Los Angeles County.

Calderon, who is termed out of the Senate in 2014, has committees open for the 58th Assembly District, currently represented by freshman Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), and for State Controller.  When Treasurer Bill Lockyer announced he would retire after the 2014 election rather than run for Controller (as we noted this morning on OC Political), Calderon’s bid for Controller got a big boost; this FBI raid likely cripples Calderon’s bid for controller.

Ron Calderon’s brother, former Senator Charles Calderon (D-Whittier), told the Sacramento Bee: “I’m shocked. Right now we don’t know any facts, and without facts you speculate about the worst. But I know Ron and…I am very confident that he’ll be able to work through this and that when the facts do come out they will show him to have not been involved in anything.”

The office of Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), Charles Calderon’s son and Ron Calderon’s nephew, was not part of today’s raids.

Today’s pair of raids are the first FBI raids in the State Capitol since the 1980s when the Shrimpscam investigation resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of Board of Equalization Member Paul Carpenter (D-Los Angeles), Senator Joseph Montoya (D-La Puente), Assemblyman Pat Nolan (R-Glendale), and Assemblyman Frank Hill (R-Whittier).

Update – June 5, 8:20 PM: It turns out the office of the Latino Caucus was not raided.  It was a second office of Senator Ron Calderon.  KQED-FM published this statement from State Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard:

Yesterday afternoon, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation served sealed warrants to search an office in the State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.

One of those offices was erroneously identified as an office of the Legislative Latino Caucus, based on an outdated roster of room numbers. The Legislative Latino Caucus moved into new offices earlier this year.

Both offices that are subject to the sealed search warrants are the offices of Senator Calderon; one in the Capitol building and the other in the Legislative Office Building.

This correction illustrates the limited information available to the Legislature. We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the agents.

3 Responses to “Update on Calderon FBI Raid: Latino Caucus Office Also Raided, Part of LA County Corruption Investigation”

  1. […] Chris Nguyen at our friendly Republican rival, OCPolitical, has been doing some real reporting tonight: […]

  2. […] My colleague Chris Nguyen elaborated with an article following up the breaking news about Senator Calderon and the FBI raid. […]

  3. […] critical articles relative to the Calderon Saga:  Senator Ron Calderon Capitol Office Raid by FBI, Update on Calderon FBI Raid, and U.S Attorney subpoena’s Senator de […]

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