OAKLAND - Gov. Jerry Brown kept mostly mum on the bribery scandal engulfing the Capitol on Friday, declining to opine on an FBI investigation or to say if he believes embattled state Sen. Ron Calderon should step down.
"I don't jump into investigations," the Democratic governor said after an event in Oakland.
Brown's remarks were his first since the cable news network Al Jazeera America on Tuesday published a 124-page affidavit alleging that Calderon, D-Montebello, accepted about $88,000 in bribes from a Southern California hospital executive. and an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio owner.
No charges have been filed against Calderon.
According to the affidavit, Calderon was seeking to change California's tax credit program for filmmakers so that smaller productions could qualify for the program, and he said Brown had asked him to hold off on the legislation until after voters decided Proposition 30, Brown's ballot initiative last year to raise taxes. After the legislation passed, according to the affidavit, Calderon told the undercover agent "the only agreement they had with Governor Brown was not to hold any hearings until after the election, so now they could do whatever they wanted."
Asked about the veracity of the claim, Brown said, "First I ever heard of it."
"I have hundreds of conversations, but of course usually with things that cost money I'm slowing them down whenever I can, but I can't respond to that particular one. But I'll be glad to look back and see what it is, but I don't have that many conversations with legislators, and I certainly didn't have too many with that particular legislator."
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee talk at an event in Oakland on Nov. 1, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been changed to remove a reference to behested payments by Brown to the Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation. State records that reported the bested payments were wrong, the state Fair Political Practices Commission said.