Calderon shoe drops and Dodger beating suspects plead guilty

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MixerBannerA federal grand jury has indicted State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom on multiple corruption charges.

The US Attorney’s Office says the Calderons face charges of mail and wire fraud, bribery and money laundering.

Gene Maddaus is a reporter with LA Weekly, and Andrew Blankstein is with the NBC News Investigative Unit based here in LA.

Did we see all of this coming? Especially given the Calderon family’s incredible influence in politics and business.

State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has asked Calderon to step aside — resign or temporarily step down — while the case makes it way through the courts. (If he leaves, the LA Times says that could weaken California Democrats.)

The story is complex. The feds say it involves Calderon, an undercover FBI agent, a hospital administrator and patients who allegedly were told they needed surgery in Long Beach.

So why is it always the feds who get involved in these investigations, and not the LA County or Sacramento County DA’s, or the California Attorney General’s office?

The LA Times cited court documents saying federal agents confronted Ron Calderon during a meeting in Las Vegas in May 2013 and had agreed to wear a “wire” as part of the investigation. What that means, no one knows. But could it exemplify some sort of deal?

The lawmaker’s attorney, Mark Geragos, called the allegations in the affidavit “false and defamatory”.

Meanwhile, Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez, accused of beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow outside of Dodger Stadium nearly 3 years ago, pleaded guilty in that case and were sentenced to between 4 and 8 years in prison. The sentencing closes an ugly chapter of security problems at Dodger Stadium, at a time when former owner Frank McCourt had the team and discounted beer prices to entice thirsty baseball fans.

Finally, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti might skip a trip to an event in Washington, dubbed Access DC, an event that the LA Area Chamber of Commerce had wanted him to appear. The Chamber is not happy about Garcetti’s non-commitment to the trip. Garcetti has said he will be just coming back from Mexico, and may be jetlagged from his long trip to see our southern neighbors.

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