On the same afternoon that the Senate Rules Committee voted to dissolve Calderon's committee assignments, prompting a denunciation from the besieged legislator, the California Latino Legislative Caucus said Calderon would be lifted from the caucus's eight-member board. Sen. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, will replace him.
"Unfortunately, recent allegations against one of our Caucus members, Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), threaten to overshadow our accomplishments and undermine the integrity of the Caucus as a whole," Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, the caucus's chair and a Rules Commitee member who voted to temporarily suspend Calderon's committee posts, said in a statement.
"We take these grave allegations seriously," Lara's statement continued. "While we make no judgment as to the veracity, we have a duty to protect the integrity of a distinguished Caucus."
Calderon's ties to the increasingly powerful Latino caucus have come under magnified scrutiny after the group appeared in an FBI affidavit alleging that Calderon accepted bribes. The affidavit claims that Calderon was involved in a leadership struggle that was ultimately resolved when the Latino caucus channeled $25,000 to an entity controlled by Calderon's brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon.
PHOTO: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, speaks with Senator Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, during session in the Senate chambers in Sacramento on March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.