California lawmaker pleads innocent to corruption charges

File photo of California State Senator Ron Calderon in SacramentoBy Dan Whitcomb and Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California state senator pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he took bribes from a businessman and from undercover FBI agents posing as Hollywood film executives to shepherd legislation in their favor. Democrat Ron Calderon, a 56-year-old politician and member of a family political dynasty going back several decades in California, had turned himself in earlier in the day to face two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in connection with the allegations. At a hearing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, a federal magistrate judge ordered Calderon to surrender his passport and not to leave the continental United States. The senator’s brother, Tom Calderon, a former member of the California State Assembly, was also named in the indictment and charged with conspiracy and seven counts of money laundering.

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