Wednesday January 29,2014 : PRO-ONLINE POKER LAWMAKER CONVICTED ON EIGHT FELONY CHARGES
California Sen. Rod Wright could face ejection from the Legislature.
California state Senator Rod Wright, a tenacious and tireless political campaigner for legalised online poker in his state could face ejection from the state Legislature following his conviction in a Los Angeles court this week on eight felony counts.
Sentencing has yet to be imposed, but could include imprisonment for up to eight years. The state laws make provision for politicians convicted of felonies to be expelled from the Legislature, subject to a two-thirds vote of the 40 member body.
The author of legalization bills SB1463 and SB51, Sen. Wright fell afoul of state laws by falsely declaring his place of residence, the constituency for which he was elected to office.
Wright claimed that he lived in the working class Inglewood district, but evidence submitted to the court showed that he resided in the more upmarket area of Baldwin Hills. These falsehoods gave rise to the felony charges of perjury, fraudulent voting and false declaration on which he was convicted.
Sen. Wright fought the charges, claiming that his Baldwin Hills home was originally bought to house his real estate business. However, his claims were undermined by prosecution witnesses from both locations who testified on the question of his living arrangements.