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RodWright.JPGSenate 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.


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