SACRAMENTO -- State Assemblywoman Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) called Friday for state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) to resign after a cable TV network reported allegations that he accepted $40,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent as part of a sting operation.
The allegations were contained in what Al Jazeera America reported was a sealed FBI affidavit it obtained.
“It is with mixed feelings, but with strong conviction that today I ask Sen. Calderon to step down from his office to allow this black cloud to be removed from over the Capitol and over the state of California,” Garcia said in a statement.
Garcia’s call is notable because about half of her district overlaps Calderon’s senate district and she represents his hometown of Montebello.
“I fully realize that we must respect the presumed innocence of Sen. Calderon, but the distraction caused by this case, in my own backyard and its long-term implications are detrimental to the fabric of government and to the citizens that the senator represents,” she added.
Last year, Garcia beat Calderon’s brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, in the primary election for the 58th Assembly District. She ran on an anti-corruption platform stemming from her work against officials in the city of Bell.
A Calderon spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Garcia is not the only legislator upset by the Calderon scandal.
On Thursday, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Calderon was stripped of his seat on the California Film Commission. When asked then if Calderon should remain in office, Steinberg told reporters “I certainly have my doubts.”
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