Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California state commission will investigate donation to Calderon nonprofit

Exide Community Meeting - 4

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

The names of state senators Kevin De Leon, left, and Ricardo Lara, right, surfaced in an affidavit regarding an investigation into their senate colleague Ron Calderon. They are seen here with Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez.

The Fair Political Practices Commission has initiated an investigation into a donation that was made by a political action committee run by the Latino Legislative Caucus to a nonprofit run by the brother of a caucus member. 

The commission also announced it would not investigate state Sen. Kevin de Leon and any role he may have played in arranging the $25,000 transfer from the caucus' Yes We Can PAC to Californians for Diversity. An FBI affidavit that was leaked earlier this year appeared to suggest De Leon may have had a hand in moving the money to a nonprofit run by Tom Calderon. His brother, state Sen. Ron Calderon, is a member of the Latino Caucus.

The donation was made during a dispute between Ron Calderon and his senate colleague, Ricardo Lara, over the chairmanship of the caucus. 

"We are investigating whether or not the payment was behested and, if so, whether or not the person who behested it should have disclosed it," said Richard Hertz, communications director for the Fair Political Practices Commission. 

The FBI raided the Sacramento office of Ron Calderon back in June. According to the leaked affidavit, which was first reported by Al-Jazeera America, federal authorities created a sting operation in which an undercover officer posed as a movie studio executive to cultivate a relationship with Calderon. The undercover agent allegedly gave bribes to Calderon in exchange for legislation that would favor his studio. The state bill was never approved. 

Ron Calderon has denied any wrongdoing. 

 

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