Rod Wright Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Charges That He Allegedly Doesn’t Live In the Senate District He Represents
LOS ANGELES — State Sen. Roderick Wright, an Inglewood Democrat, pleaded not guilty September 16 in Superior Court to eight felony charges of not living in the district he was elected to represent.
Wright, 58, was indicted September 13 on charges of perjury by declaration, filing false declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting. The indictment was not unsealed until the 16th.
He’s due back in court Oct. 8.
The indictment caps a two-year investigation that escalated enough last fall that Wright created a “legal defense” committee which, as of June 30, had $52,900 more than $30,000 of it incontributions form Sacramento interst groups including card clubs, racetracks, utilities and prison guards.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, when Wright declared his candidacy for the Senate in February 2008 he said he lvied in a in a five-unit apartment building he owns in Inglewood.
That building is within the 25th District, which Wright represents.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, the GOP candidate for Attorney General, alleges that since 2000 Wright actually lives in a Baldwin Hills house.
That house is in the 26th state Senate District.
In September 2009, investigators searched both residences. It was shortly after that, Wright sent an oblique e-mail to Sacramento interest groups asking to meet with them about a “pending matter.”
He started his legal defense fund with $20,000 from one of his own campaign funds.
Among the other contributors: $5,000 from the California Cable Telecommunications Association; $5,000 from the California Association of Highway Patrolmen; $5,000 from Pacific Gas & Electric and $5,000 from AT&T.
If convicted of all charges, Wright faces up to eight years and four months in prison. He would also be banned from ever holding public office.
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