Astonishing Revelations in Calderon Investigation

Bombshell disclosures in the Calderon investigation in recent days.  Al Jazeera America (!) had the scoop:  a 124-page FBI affidavit that had apparently been sworn out in May 2013 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman, in support of the search warrant served on the offices of state senator Ron Calderon.  According to the affidavit:

  • Calderon accepted a $28,000 bribe from the CEO of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, Michael Drobot, in exchange for “supporting legislation that would delay or limit changes in California’s workers compensation laws.”  Drobot attorney Jeff Rutherford has called these allegations “baseless.”
  • Calderon accepted bribes in 2012 from an undercover FBI agent who posed as “Rocky Patel,” a supposed executive of a small movie studio in Los Angeles.  Undercover agent “Patel” asked Calderon to modify a film industry tax credit program, so that productions with a budget below $1 million could be eligible for the tax credits.  Calderon allegedly agreed to help change the program, in exchange for Patel “hiring” his daughter, Jessica (who allegedly did no work for Patel).  The agent allegedly paid $27,000 to Jessica, in exchange for Calderon’s legislative support.
  • The undercover agent also supposedly gave $25,000 to Californians for Diversity, a nonprofit group with ties to Calderon’s brother Tom Calderon.  According to the affidavit, Ron Calderon told the agent that he and his brother intended to use that money once he left public office.
  • Per the affidavit, Ron Calderon also had a grand time in Las Vegas on the FBI’s dime, racking up a $3.939 bill at a Bellagio nightclub, courtesy of undercover agent Patel.

Ron Calderon’s attorney, Mark Geragos, suggested to the LA Times that the affidavit was “fabricated and untrue.”  If so, it’s a hell of a forgery.  Instead, it appears that Al Jazeera somehow got hold of a sealed search warrant affidavit, which could have come only from a few sources:  the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office, or the Court itself.  It’s the sort of thing that just shouldn’t happen, and the FBI has now asked the Justice Department to investigate the “suspected unauthorized disclosure” of the affidavit.

So we have a full-blown ABSCAM-style corruption investigation, and now an investigation of the investigation to boot.  Stay tuned.

And to the intrepid reporters at Al Jazeera America, I say “Mabrook.”

One Thought on “Astonishing Revelations in Calderon Investigation

  1. Ryan Hiete on November 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm said:

    Andy, new blog looks great! I will follow it closely. Keep in touch.

    Ryan Hiete
    Musick Peeler

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