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By Brian Hews
Downey – California State Senate hopeful Mario Guerra slammed Senate Pro-Tem President Darrell Steinberg on Monday afternoon surrounding the current employment status of indicted Senator Ronald Calderon and convicted Senator Rod Wright.
Guerra, who is running to replace the termed out legislator in the newly drawn 32rd State Senate District called on Steinberg “to force” both Calderon and Wright to immediately turn in their resignation notices.
Guerra is a Republican and both Calderon are Democrats.
On Sunday, Calderon said that he would be taking a paid leave of absence while he fights federal corruptions charges that could land him in jail for life if found guilty on all counts.
Last week, Calderon was charged by federal officials for accepting nearly $100,000 in bribes in exchange for action on several legislative bills.
Steinberg last week gave Calderon until Monday to resign or take a leave of absence. Steinberg said that if his long-time political alley refused to step down, he would have faced a Senate vote to suspend him from office.
Calderon told members of the media late Sunday in a statement that, “I will be seeking a voluntary leave of absence from my legislative duties in Sacramento. This is not a resignation since I still have my day in court. However, due to the nature and complexity of the charges, and the discovery materials that I will have to review, I expect this to be a lengthy period of absence continuing until the end of the session in August.”
Guerra, who is a current city councilmember and a leading candidate to replace Calderon in Sacramento, told HMG-CN in an interview that, “Doing the right thing is not difficult. There are currently two State Senators – both representing constituencies within Los Angeles County – who have refused to step-down after being charged and/or convicted of multiple felonies.”
Guerra also said, “I want to reiterate that silence and inaction are not acceptable. Our leaders must not only have character, they must lead by example. My record speaks for itself when it comes to voting for what is right – every time. I led the drive and passed resolutions in my city asking for both Senator Wright’s and Senator Calderon’s resignation.”
Guerra added, “It is unacceptable to continue to allow Senators Wright and Calderon to be members of the Senate. They are both continuing to be a drain on the limited resources that our great State has. Over $200,000 of the public’s money will be paid to these corrupt politicians while they take a vacation on the taxpayers’ dollar. Voters continue to be disenfranchised with politics and this is why – corrupt politicians break the law and their peers blindly protect them. We deserve more from those who have elected.”
Calderon will still be collecting his taxpayer salary and benefits package while he is awaiting trial.
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