Capitol Alert

The Calderon corruption saga

Tony Beard, the Senate’s chief sergeant at arms, escorts FBI agents to Sen. Ron Calderon’s office at the State Capitol in Sacramento on June 4, 2013.
Tony Beard, the Senate’s chief sergeant at arms, escorts FBI agents to Sen. Ron Calderon’s office at the State Capitol in Sacramento on June 4, 2013.

November 2006

▪ Ron Calderon is elected to the 30th Senate District from Montebello.

February 2010

▪ Calderon asks Michael Drobot, an influential hospital executive, to hire his son for $10,000 a summer so he would “have enough money to pay his college tuition,” according to an FBI affidavit.

June 2012

▪ Ron Calderon and an undercover agent talk about introducing legislation to lower the threshold for the state’s film tax credit. Calderon asks the agent to hire his daughter. The agent asks Calderon to hire his “girlfriend,” also an undercover agent, and Calderon later sends the following email to agent and agent/girlfriend: “Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you.”

January 2013

▪ Undercover agent mails $25,000 check to former Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon’s Californians for Diversity. Tom and Ron Calderon are brothers.

California State Senator Ron Calderon, right, comforts his brother former state assemblyman Tom Calderon at a memorial service for Tom’s wife Marcella Calderon in 2012. Genaro Molina Los Angeles Times

June 2013

▪ FBI raids the Capitol and searches two offices of Ron Calderon.

The FBI raids the Capitol office of Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, on June 4, 2013. Paul Kitagaki Jr.

October 2013

▪ Al Jazeera America publishes a leaked, 124-page affidavit alleging Ron Calderon accepted about $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio owner and a Southern California hospital executive during a wide-ranging probe.

November 2013

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon Rich Pedroncelli AP

▪ Lawmakers take the extraordinary step of removing Ron Calderon from the California Film Commission, a post he was entitled to hold until the end of his term.

▪ Lawmakers remove Ron Calderon from key legislative posts, including four policy committees and the board of the Latino Caucus. Also, civic leaders in his southeast Los Angeles district ask for Ron Calderon’s resignation.

▪ Ron Calderon charges in a federal filing that authorities leaked the affidavit against him after Calderon refused to participate in a sting operation targeting then-Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Kevin de León, now the Senate leader.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento introduces resolution 38 to suspend Senator Leland Yee, Ron Calderon and Rod Wright on on Friday, March 28, 2014. Hector Amezcua

February 2014

▪ A grand jury indicts Ron Calderon on 24 criminal charges that allege he took nearly $100,000 in bribes in exchange for efforts to influence legislation. Calderon faces a maximum sentence of 396 years if convicted. Tom Calderon is also indicted on money laundering charges.

U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, left, and the FBI’s Bill Lewis speak at a Feb. 21, 2014 news conference announcing multiple charges of bribery and cover-ups against state Sen. Ron Calderon. Nick Ut The Associated Press

▪ Ron Calderon pleads not guilty to corruption charges and is freed after posting a $50,000 bond.

March 2014

▪ Ron Calderon takes an indefinite leave of absence while fighting felony charges. He continues to receive his full legislative pay.

▪ Ron Calderon is suspended from the upper chamber, with pay, on a 28-1 vote.

November 2014

▪ Ron Calderon leaves office due to term limits.

June 2016

Former assemblyman Tom Calderon Friends of Tom Calderon

▪ California voters overwhelmingly approve Proposition 50, which amends the state constitution to allow lawmakers to suspend their colleagues without pay or benefits.

▪ Tom Calderon pleads guilty to one count of money laundering in the corruption case involving him and his brother.

▪ Ron Calderon indicates he will plead guilty to one count of mail fraud.

Compiled by Christopher Cadelago and Jim Miller