Sacramento, CA — The California Senate has voted to suspend three Democrats who face criminal charges. Those suspended are Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco who was indicted on federal charges this week that included accepting bribes and coordinating an international gunrunning operation. Senator Ron Calderon also faces federal corruption charges in regards to accepting bribes in order to steer legislation for his benefactors. Senator Rod Wright was convicted of voter fraud and perjury.
Today’s vote was 28-to-1 in favor of SR38 a resolution that prevents those Senators from exercising any power of their office until the pending criminal cases against them have been resolved. All three will retain their pay while suspended. That does not sit well with the lone no vote cast by Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine. He argued that all three should be expelled outright, stating it is wrong for them to get their salaries with such serious charges and crimes hanging over their heads.
State law only allows no pay if a lawmaker is expelled or resigns. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants to change that. He is calling for a constitutional amendment that will let lawmakers deny pay to suspended lawmakers. Steinberg adds Yee has refused to resign or take a leave, as he requested.