SACRAMENTO (AP) – State Sen. Ron Calderon was stripped of his committee assignments Tuesday amid a federal investigation involving allegations that he accepted money in return for promoting certain bills.
The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to remove the Los Angeles-area Democrat from all committees. It’s believed to be the first time the committee has taken such action against a senator. No charges have been filed against Calderon, who denies wrongdoing and said he was disappointed with the move.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said the committee was making no judgments about Calderon’s alleged conduct and that the actions were temporary, pending the outcome of the FBI investigation.
Steinberg said lawmakers were acting in the interest of the institution.
“Our job here is not to determine whether or not there has been any violation of criminal law,” said Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who is chairman of the Rules Committee. “Our job is to uphold the standard of conduct of the Senate.”
Tuesday’s actions come after Al Jazeera America reported that it had obtained a sealed FBI affidavit alleging Calderon accepted $88,000 in return for promoting bills.
Calderon issued a statement shortly after the vote saying he was “profoundly disappointed” in the action by the Rules Committee. His statement referenced the apparent leak of the affidavit, which remains under seal in federal court in Sacramento.
The FBI has said it is investigating the leak.