Citing allegations in an FBI affidavit, the state's ethics agency has notified state Sen. Kevin de Leon, (D-Los Angeles,) that it may launch an investigation into whether he violated campaign finance rules by directing a donation to a nonprofit linked to state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon, it was reported today.
State law requires the state Fair Political Practices Commission to provide 10 days notice before launching an investigation so the potential target has a chance to provide evidence that no violation has occurred. De Leon denied wrongdoing through a spokesman, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article from Sacramento.
Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello, is facing a federal investigation into allegations that he accepted $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a movie executive and the former owner of a Long Beach hospital to act on legislation, according to an FBI affidavit cited by The Times.
The affidavit also alleges that De Leon arranged a $25,000 contribution from "Yes We Can," a political committee affiliated with the California Legislative Latino Caucus, to a nonprofit group run by former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, the brother of Ronald S. Calderon, according to The Times.
The Calderons allegedly planned to gain income from the nonprofit, Californians for Diversity, according to the affidavit, The Times reported.
The affidavit alleges De Leon arranged the donation "in exchange for Ronald Calderon agreeing not to challenge Senator (Ricardo) Lara to become the Chairman of the Latino Caucus," The Times reported.
Local leaders, including South Gate Mayor Gil Hurtado, have been pressuring Calderon to resign. The group has said the senator has not only lost credibility he has eroded confidence in the political process.
-- City News Service and Patch Staff