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California Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said today that he is removing Sen. Rod Wright from his position as chair of the Senate's Governmental Organization committee but is not asking the legislator found guilty this week of eight felonies to leave office.

"Where we stand today, there is no final conviction, but a jury verdict," Steinberg said. "Unless and until there is a final conviction for a felony I do not believe it is appropriate or necessary to expel Senator Wright or ask him to resign."

Steinberg said Wright plans to appeal Tuesday's convictions, in which a Los Angeles jury found him guilty of eight felonies for not living in the Senate district he represents. He said Wright asked to be removed from chairing the committee that oversees California's gambling and alcohol laws.

"What I'm trying to do, what I'm endeavoring to do, is to balance the fact that he has not been fully and finally convicted, with respecting the fact that a jury of his peers have rendered their part of the judgment, and to suggest a course of action that recognizes both of those things," Steinberg said.

Video: Sen. Steinberg talks about Rod Wright's future:

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PHOTO: Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, shown inside the Capitol in February 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer



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