Capitol Alert

Delay likely in corruption trial for California Sen. Ron Calderon

The corruption trial of Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon will likely be delayed until next May, months after the suspended lawmaker is forced to leave office because of term limits.

Calderon is fighting federal corruption allegations of fraud, bribery and money laundering, and the case was scheduled for trial on Sept. 16.

Mark Geragos, his attorney in the case, described the amount of documents being produced by the government as voluminous and ongoing. Prosecutors agreed to Geragos’ request for time to go over the paperwork with his client ahead of the trial. The new date would be May 19.

“That’s our estimate based on the amount of discovery,” Geragos said.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, said the judge has yet to approve the request.

Court records state the government began producing documents relating to the case in late April, and the number has grown to 280,000 pages, including 10,000 FBI documents, 3,900 of grand jury testimony, 2,000 of recorded telephone conversations and more than 200 recorded meetings.

The latest wave of documents was provided to the defendants on June 23.

Tom Calderon, a former state lawmaker charged in the case, also signed the request for a delay.

Ron Calderon was one of three Democratic state senators, along with Leland Yee and Rod Wright, suspended with pay in March after they were accused of criminal charges in unrelated cases.

Wright’s criminal sentencing was delayed for a third time earlier this month as his lawyers argued the judge should reject the verdict in the jury trial in which he was found guilty of eight felonies for lying about where he lived during his 2008 election campaign.

In February, a federal grand jury indicted Calderon on 24 counts of corruption for allegedly taking $88,000 in bribes from a hospital executive and an FBI agent posing as a movie studio chief.

His term in office expires Nov. 30.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee