Capitol Alert

Court upholds former California senator’s voter fraud conviction

Former state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse on Sept. 3, 2014.
Former state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles Courthouse on Sept. 3, 2014. The Associated Press

A Los Angeles County appeals court on Tuesday upheld former state Sen. Rod Wright’s conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud.

In 2014, a jury found Wright guilty of eight felonies for registering to vote at a home he owned in Inglewood, even though he actually lived several miles away in the upscale neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, just outside the district where he ran for office in 2008.

Wright, a Democrat, has argued that he fulfilled all legal requirements to use the Inglewood home as his official address. Claiming prosecutor misconduct, errors in delivering jury instructions and misapplication of the law, he sought a new trial, but the three-member appeals panel roundly rejected his challenge.

“Reconsideration at this point,” Judge Sanjay Kumar wrote, “would run afoul of the principles of finality and judicial economy upon which the law of the case doctrine is based.”

Wright resigned from his Senate seat in September 2014, after a judge upheld the jury’s conviction and ordered him to three months in jail. He never saw the inside of a cell, ultimately serving 71 minutes of his sentence.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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