In Sen. Ron Calderon's first public comments since an FBI affidavit alleging he accepted $88,000 in bribes became public last week, the Montebello Democrat blasted an assemblywoman who has been calling for his resignation.
"It is outrageous in a democratic society for Cristina Garcia, an elected official, to trample on the Constitution by making a mockery of the presumption of innocence, a fundamental right, and seek political gain by embracing the criminal acts of media outlets that violate federal law by revealing the contents of sealed federal documents," Calderon wrote in a statement emailed to the media.
He added that Garcia "would best serve her constituents by reviewing her notes from her eighth-grade civics class."
Garcia, a Democrat who defeated Calderon's brother Tom Calderon in the race for the 58th Assembly District, ran for her Assembly seat on a platform of ousting corruption in the Los Angeles city of Bell. She has been the only legislator who has publicly called for Ron Calderon to step down in the wake of the federal corruption investigation.
"I fully realize that we must respect the presumed innocence of Senator Calderon, but the distraction caused by this case, in my own backyard and its long-term implications are detrimental to the fabric of government and to the citizens that the Senator represents," Garcia said in a Nov. 1 statement.
On Wednesday, following Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's recommendation that Calderon be removed from all his committee assignments, Garcia issued a second statement:
"I applaud Senator President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for taking action to remove Senator Calderon from his chairmanship and other committee assignments. I hope he finds the will to join me in requesting for Senator Calderon's resignation as over the last week his constituents, activists and colleagues have shared that they have lost faith in his ability to govern with integrity."
Garcia lives in Calderon's 30th Senate District, which means she could run for his seat if he stepped down. But because new district boundaries kick in during next year's Senate elections, Garcia could not run in the November 2014 race to replace him in what will then be labeled the 32nd Senate District.
Garcia's chief of staff Tim Reardon said reports earlier this week that she is eyeing Calderon's Senate seat are wrong.
"She has absolutely no intention ... and is not going to be running for that Senate seat," Reardon said. "She is absolutely committed to her Assembly seat, and this has nothing to do with her running for another office."
PHOTO: Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, pauses during session in Assembly chambers on March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/ Hector Amezcua.