A California Democrat could spend the rest of his life in jail on a myriad of charges that include bribery and fraud. State Senator Ron Calderon turned himself in to authorities today after being indicted on two dozen federal charges that could land him a 400-year prison sentence. Meanwhile, state senate leader Darrell Steinberg has called on Calderon to resign or the senate will look to suspend him until the trial is completed. Calderon has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
Calderon is also being accused of accepting money from undercover FBI agents that he thought were Hollywood producers. He also allegedly accepted a bribe from hospital owner Michael Drobot to keep a legislative loophole that ultimately allowed Drobot to defraud the state out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Calderon is being accused of accepting $100,000 in cash bribes, in addition to other incentives such as jobs for his children and golf outings in exchange for influencing legislation.
Drobot has since pleaded guilty to several federal charges against him and is cooperating with police in the investigation against Calderon and his brother, Tom. Tom, a former member of the California State Assembly, had pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and seven counts of money laundering. He has also denied accusations that he illegally funneled his brother’s bribe money through his own consulting firm. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum jail sentence of 160 years.