Fresh revelations of a federal investigation into Calderon surfaced last week with the publication of an affidavit, obtained by Al Jazeera America, charging that Calderon accepted bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film executive seeking legislation that would favor his business.
Steinberg reacted by removing Calderon from the California Film Commission. When asked whether Calderon should retain public office, Steinberg replied, "I certainly have my doubts."
Those doubts about Calderon's fitness have apparently solidified into the certainty that the Montebello Democrat should not be allowed to lead the Insurance Committee until the federal investigation is concluded. Steinberg announced Wednedsay that he was asking the Senate Rules Committee to nix Calderon's Insurance Committee chairmanship and remove him from his other committee assignments.
"I do not make this request lightly, nor do I judge the truth of the publicly reported allegations," Steinberg said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "I am concerned, however, about keeping Senator Calderon in his positions. The allegations, though yet unproven, are serious enough to cloud any interactions the Senator might have with colleagues, advocates, and the public on issues within his jurisdiction."
The Rules Committee is scheduled to consider Steinberg's request at a meeting next Tuesday. Since Steinberg oversees that committee, the decision to remove Calderon's committee assignments is likely a foregone conclusion.
Through a spokesman, Calderon declined to comment.
"Senator Calderon has no comment on that matter at this moment," said Mario Beltran, Calderon's communications director.
Editor's note: This post was changed at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday to include the comment from Calderon's spokesman.
PHOTO: Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday June 10, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo.