Wright bill shifts some felonies to misdemeanors

Two days after he was convicted of eight felony counts of voter fraud and perjury, state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, introduced legislation that would allow nonviolent felonies to be reclassified as misdemeanors in some cases.

The measure, SB 929, would allow a defendant to have a felony offense be deemed a misdemeanor if the felony was not “serious or violent,” did not involve a sex offense and if the defendant had not been convicted of another offense within the past five years, among other criteria.

Language in the bill appears to apply to Wright himself, including a passage that says “when a defendant is convicted of a felony offense, the offense shall, on application of the defendant, thereafter be be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes…” The bill can be viewed here.

Wright, who was removed as head of the influential Senate Governmental Organization committee, which deals with alcohol, gambling and horse racing, remains in the Senate pending his appeal.

Wright, 61, who has served in the Senate since 2008, was convicted by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Tuesday of lying on registration and candidacy documents, and for living in a residence that was not within his district. California law requires state legislators to live within the boundaries of the districts they represent.

The charges against Wright, who was indicted by a Grand Jury in September 2010, dated from 2007.

He faces a maximum of eight years, four months in prison. Sentencing has been set for March 12. Wright’s attorney has announced he will appeal the verdict.

Another state senator, Ron Calderon of Montebello, was stripped of his committee assignments following the disclosure of a leaked FBI affidavit that depicted the lawmaker taking bribes to expedite legislation to aid a businessman, actually an FBI undercover officer.  Calderon has not been charged with any crimes.


  • Linda Taylor

    Absolutely unacceptable! Of course he wants to reduce felonies to
    misdemeanors…so when he and his friends commit serious crime they
    won’t have to do any jail time. The same people working to empty our
    jails are working together to decriminalize crime. Rod Wright, Ron
    Calderon, Darrell Steinberg, Tony Mendoza, Jerry Hill, and Kevin De
    Leon. All working together to undermine our laws and the people who
    voted them into office. Ron Calderon introduced legislation that
    legalized bookmaking (SB 1072), Jerry Hill in turn introduced
    legislation (SB 472) to exempt Terry Fancher, the owner of Hollywood
    Park (race track-casino) from laws that prohibit investors in
    out-of-state casinos from running them in California too…Terry Fancher
    not only owns the casino in Inglewood, (Wright’s district) he owns The
    Shara Casino in Las Vegas…Senator Roderick Wright told Law 360, the
    bill (SB 472) was to “Stave off the closure of the Hollywood Park
    Casino”…that was a lie. The casino was never in jeopardy. Bookmaking,
    fight fixing, bet fixing (Betfair)..extravagant fundraisers in Las
    Vegas. There’s a lot more going on then voter fraud and perjury! Where
    are the feds?

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