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Senate Votes to Suspend Yee, Calderon, Wright

Senate Votes to Suspend Yee, Calderon, Wright

UPDATE:

Three members of the California State Senate are off the job after being suspended by their colleagues because of criminal allegations.  

Senators voted 28-1 to oust Democratic senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon and Rod Wright.

President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced the resolution.

"None of the members mentioned in the resolution can serve another day in this Senate, going forward, unless they are exonerated," Steinberg said. 

It was similar to a resolution introduced by Senator Bob Huff with the exception of adding Calderon and Wright's names.

The lone dissenting vote was Senator Joel Anderson who felt that this resolution didn't go far enough.

He thinks that the members should be expelled, especially since under California law suspended members are still paid.

"You propose to give them a Roman Holiday by suspending all their ability to work for the people, but continue to pay them with the people's money. You're going down the wrong path, you're wrong," Anderson said. 

Steinberg argues that an expulsion goes too far right now because Yee and Calderon have yet to go to trial.

The vote is a setback for the Democratic party in the California Senate, who had the super majority prior to this vote. 

State Senator Leland Yee was charged in federal court this week with corruption and conspiracy to illegally import guns.  

Senator Ron Calderon was indicted on multiple corruption charges last month for taking bribes.  

In January, a jury found Senator Rod Wright guilty of voter fraud for lying about whether he lived in the district he represents.

Republican state Senator Andy Vidak criticized the "punishment."

"These so called suspensions of senators are no more than tax-payer paid vacations," the Senator fumed.

Senator Vidak says he will continue advocating that senators who are involved in serious criminal activity should be expelled if they refuse to resign.

Governor Brown issued a statement following the suspension:

"Given the extraordinary circumstances of these cases – and today’s unprecedented suspensions – the best way to restore public confidence is for these Senators to resign."

Read the Criminal Complaint Against Yee

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