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California Senate votes to suspend 3 state lawmakers, all Democrats

California Democratic Sens. Ron Calderon, Leland Yee and Rod Wright are seen.

March 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The California Senate voted on Friday to suspend three Democratic lawmakers who face charges in separate cases.

Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco is now suspended, but he is still refusing to step down following accusations of accepting bribes and coordinating an international gun-running operation. Yee's attorney, Paul F. DeMeester, issued a statement immediately after the Senate vote saying suspension was "the right step for now" because it acknowledges the presumption of innocence.

Democratic senators Ron Calderon and Rod Wright were also suspended. Calderon, who represents Montebello, faces corruption charges for allegedly accepting bribes totaling $100,000 in cash and trips. Some of the money he allegedly accepted was from an undercover FBI agent. He also says he is not resigning, but Calderon is termed out of office in November, so it is likely he will not return.

Wright, who represents Inglewood, was convicted of voter fraud and perjury and is expected to be sentenced in May. He is trying to get his conviction overturned so he can return to the state senate.

Despite the suspension, the senators will continue receiving their $95,291 annual salaries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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