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FBI raids offices of California state Sen. Ron Calderon

June 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The FBI on Tuesday raided the Sacramento offices of state Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello. No arrests were made, but agents carried off half a dozen boxes and what appeared to be a computer hard drive.

The FBI did not disclose reason for the search warrants, but Eyewitness News has learned the investigation is potentially tied to the Central Basin Municipal Water District and the agency's contracts and bidding practices.

Michael J. Franchek, an executive with a water conservation company confirms to Eyewitness News that FBI agents interviewed him about his own experiences with bids and contracts with the Central Basin Water District.

Francheck called the process "a hotbed of cronyism" and said that a recent contract involving federal stimulus money went to a firm associated with Tom Calderon, a brother of Ron Calderon.

Ron Calderon has been a Democratic state senator since 2006. He chairs several senate committees, including the Economic Development Committee and the International Business and Trade Committee. His office in the Capitol building and in the Legislative Office Building.

We knocked on the door of the senator's home in Montebello, but no one came to the door. FBI agents remained inside the Capitol offices through the evening to conduct their investigation.

Although Calderon has not spoken out about the investigation, his attorney, Mark Geragos, said in a statement, "Apparently the federal government has no problem violating their own secrecy and sealing rules. It is shameful that the FBI would seal a search warrant and then leak it. It is shameful and they should apologize."

Geragos called the investigation a witch hunt.

In 2009, the senator was investigated for using campaign money for personal use. He was investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which found that there was no wrongdoing.

It was previously reported that the office of the Legislative Latino Caucus was searched, but officials say that information was based on an outdated roster of room numbers.


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