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Former State Senator Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Taking Bribes

State Senator Ron Calderon with his wife, Ana. Photo by Carol Crosby via the LAist Photo Pool on Flickr.
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Ron Calderon, a former state senator from Montebello, is expected to plead guilty today to allegations that he'd taken bribes while in office, reports L.A. Weekly. The charges against Calderon could land him in prison for 20 years. But his lawyers say that, as part of the plea, they want him to serve no more than 70 months. In a deal made with prosecutors, Calderon will plead guilty to mail fraud. The charge encompasses a number of violations that Calderon had committed while in office. In one incident he'd agreed to push for legislation that would benefit the owner of a Long Beach Hospital, as long as the owner hired Calderon's son as a paid intern. Calderon also advocated a tax break for producers of small-budget films; he took up this position after being courted by a group of film executives who were actually FBI agents working undercover. In this incident Calderon also demanded that one of the executives hire his daughter.

Former state assemblyman Tom Calderon, Ron's brother, pleaded guilty last week to allegations that he was laundering money on Ron's behalf. The charges mark a steep fall for the once-mighty Calderon political dynasty, according to the L.A. Times. Ron, Tom, along with older brother Charles, rose from Montebello to become notable power players in the political sphere. "Known for a ruthless style of political hardball and audacious fundraising, the brothers were masters of leverage, using others' wants and weaknesses to their advantage," said the Times.

In 2014, the Whittier Daily News reported that Charles, a former assemblyman, had directed $40,000 in campaign funds to to his son Ian for "Web-consulting services." Reporters found no evidence of an internet presence, however. In 2015 the Fair Political Practices Commission said that it couldn't find "sufficient evidence"of wrong doing on Charles' part, The Sacramento Bee reported.

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