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State Sen. Calderon urged to step down amid bribery investigation

A number of elected officials gathered Wednesday to demand the resignation of embattled state Senator Ron Calderon.
November 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Saying enough is enough, a number of elected officials gathered Wednesday to demand the resignation of embattled state Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello). Calderon is being investigated as part of a federal bribery probe. Calderon denies any wrongdoing.

A show of political unity against a powerful political family: Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and a dozen other elected officials asked Calderon to step down Wednesday.

"We ask him today to look within himself and look at what is best for the people whom he represents and make the right decision and resign his office," said Garcia.

Calderon is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly taking a bribe to support specific legislation. According to an affidavit obtained by Al Jazeera America, Calderon accepted $60,000 from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio executive.

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo says he spoke to Calderon recently and says he was amazed at his arrogance.

"He mentioned that he was the 'Kennedy of the southeast of L.A.,' and I tell you, you're no Kennedy -- you need to resign," said Crespo.

Tuesday the state Senate stripped Calderon of all his legislative committee assignments.

Eyewitness News went to Calderon's office Wednesday but no one would speak.

Eyewitness News was given a statement in which Calderon attacks Assemblymember Garcia, calling her an opportunistic politician.

"Without knowing the full story and waiting to hear all the facts in this case, she has assumed the role of judge and jury by calling for my resignation," the statement said.

"This is a legacy that he has built in this community for many years," said political strategist Luis Alvarado. "The elected officials have had to sometimes bow to their power or otherwise they were not going to have any representation in Sacramento."

"Once the trust is gone, it's going to be hard to trust him and believe what he's going to do for us," said Montebello resident Albert Munoz. Asked if Calderon should leave, Munoz said "Absolutely."

Federal officials Wednesday did not comment about any aspect of the investigation of Calderon. And so far he has not been charged with any crimes.