Democratic California State Sen. Ron Calderon is accused of accepting $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent. The agent, posing as a film studio owner and hospital executive, made promises to help Mr. Calderon’s family in return for changes to the tax code. The Sacramento Bee reports:
The federal affidavit, filed as the FBI sought a search warrant for Calderon’s office, alleges that he worked with interest groups in a pay-to-play fashion, accepting money in exchange for promises to carry or amend legislation to their benefit.
It details an arrangement to funnel money for the Calderon family’s later use through a nonprofit organization run by his brother Tom Calderon. It describes an instance in which Calderon hired a female undercover agent as a staff member as a favor to another undercover agent despite her apparent lack of qualifications for the job. It says that as Calderon steered legislation, he asked those he thought would benefit to secure jobs for his children, Jessica and Zachary. […]
Eventually, Ron Calderon’s older brother Tom entered the picture. He is a former assemblyman who works as a consultant for businesses that lobby the Legislature. Ron Calderon said his brother’s presence was not essential but would smooth the tax credit bill’s movement through the Capitol, according to the affidavit.
They cut Tom Calderon in, according to the affidavit, bringing the agent’s monthly contribution to $10,000, including $2,000 to cover taxes, $3,000 for Jessica Calderon’s “job” and $5,000 for Tom Calderon’s consulting fees. Those were to be paid through the nonprofit he runs, called Californians for Diversity. Later, Ron Calderon and the agent discussed skirting suspicion by passing money into the Calderon Group, Tom Calderon’s consulting company.