Calif. Politician Gets 90 Days for Voter Fraud

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – California State Sen. Roderick Wright received 90 days in jail and a bar from holding elective office on Friday, after a jury found that he lived outside the senate district he represented.
     Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy handed down the sentence. The judge’s order includes 1,500 hours of community service. Wright, 62, was placed on felony probation for three years.
     He will begin his time in county jail on Oct. 31.
     Wright was elected as a representative for the 25th Senate District on Nov. 4, 2008 for a four-year term.
     But the Democratic politician really lived in Baldwin Hills in the 26th district, prosecutors charged. A jury agreed, convicting Wright in January.
     Wright had argued that his Inglewood house in the 25th was his home. But Judge Kennedy said during sentencing that there was an “arrogance” in the way Wright had deceived voters.
     “It didn’t pass the smell test and it doesn’t now …” Kennedy said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The law applies to all of us.”
     A jury found Wright guilty of eight felony counts, including two counts of perjury, one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy and five counts of fraudulent voting in elections in 2008 and 2009.
     Deputy District Attorneys Bjorn Dodd and Michele Gilmer prosecuted the case.
     In another high-profile public corruption case, the state court this week delayed sentencing of convicted former Los Angeles city councilman Richard Alarcon over a similar residency charge.
     Alarcon has filed a notice of a motion to retry the case.
     Wright’s lawyer Winston Kevin McKesson told the Times the politician would appeal.

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