For the second time, the sentencing hearing for suspended state Sen. Rod Wright has been delayed for two months in the criminal trial that alleged he lied about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008.
A Los Angeles jury found the Democrat guilty in January of eight perjury and voter fraud felonies for claiming a home in Inglewood as his official address while he actually lived a few miles away in the tonier community of Baldwin Hills. Wright's sentencing was originally set for March but was delayed until May 16. Today it was delayed again, this time until July 21, according to Wright's lawyer Winston Kevin McKesson.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed that sentencing was delayed to give Wright's lawyers more time to prepare a motion for a new trial.
The Senate voted in March to suspend Wright with pay after two of his Democratic colleagues, Sens. Ron Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee of San Francisco, were indicted in separate federal corruption cases. The suspensions marked the first time in California history that the Senate suspended any of its members with pay.
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg argued then that Calderon and Yee could not be expelled from the Senate -- which would rescind their pay -- because they had been charged with crimes, but not convicted. And he said it was too soon to expel Wright because his conviction wouldn't be final until ratified by the judge at sentencing. Wright's lawyer has said he plans to ask the judge to set aside the jury's guilty verdict.
Editor's note: This post was updated at 3:34 p.m. with input from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.