Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said a state Senate colleague indicted today by a Los Angeles County Grand Jury is "presumed innocent" and that he will contribute to his colleague's legal defense fund.
Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, was accused Thursday of fraudulently claiming to live in his Senate district. Wright has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer said he expects Wright to be"fully exonerated."
Steinberg said in a statement today: "Rod Wright has been a strong voice in the civil rights community for over 30 years. And while all of us are expected to obey the laws, a criminal indictment on a merit of residency, threatens to silence a voice that I will continue to listen to and respect."
"Rod Wright has my full support and is presumed innocent," Steinberg said. "He will remain in his position in the Senate and I intend to personally contribute to his Legal Defense Fund."
Wright is chair of the Senate's Governmental Organization Committee.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, August 20, 2009. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.