Ron Calderon to take leave of absence

State Sen. Ron Calderon, under federal indictment on two dozen  corruption charges that include taking nearly $100,000 in bribes, will take a leave of absence from the Senate while he fights the allegations.

Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello

Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello

Calderon, 56, a Montebello Democrat, will continue to receive his $95,000-a-year salary. He requested the leave and it  was granted by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-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,” Calderon said in a written statement released by his office.

“I will take this time to focus on fighting these charges,” he said.

Federal prosecutors announced the 24-count criminal indictment on Feb. 21. He is accused of accepting bribes in order to influence legislation, including pushing for tax incentives for a film company. Federal officials also indicted Calderon’s brother, Tom Calderon, a former lawmaker, for directing funds from a nonprofit for his personal use.

The allegations stemmed from an FBI undercover operation. An affidavit detailing the secret investigation was first disclosed in a report last year by the cable news network Al Jazeera America.

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