Ronald Calderon’s lawyer is denying a report that the lawmaker accepted $60,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Hollywood producer. Al Jazeera Television says the payments were allegedly in exchange for Calderon’s help expanding tax credits available to the film industry. Some of the money allegedly went to a non-profit that was formed by Ron Calderon’s brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon. The FBI has refused to comment on the case. Calderon’s lawyer calls the allegations “fabricated”…More than 50,000 county workers could walk off the job soon. Members of the Service Employees International Union have broken off negotiations. A strike vote by union members is expected to wrap up next week. Health care costs are the main sticking point.After more than 50 years of taking millions of toms of L.A. County’s garbage, the Puente Hills Landfill – one of the largest in the country – is closing today. The dump opened in 1957 and has received about 7,000 tons of trash a day. L.A.’s trash will be trucked further away from now on, meaning higher disposal costs…Santa Monica officials say high pay given to dozens of the city’s firefighters is justified, and is even saving the city money. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that, with overtime, 42 firefighters earned more than $200,000 dollars in the fiscal year that ended in June. Fire Chief Scott Ferguson says paying overtime is more cost efficient than hiring additional firefighters…The federal government is putting a price tag on California’s decision to dump its old standardized tests: $3.5 billion. That was the amount cited this week in a letter sent to state officials by a top aide to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It says California could lose out on money for English-language learners, poor children, disabled students and a wide range of federal programs…And finally, it’s Halloween, and that means pandemonium in West Hollywood. Half a million people are expected to descend on Santa Monica Boulevard for tonight’s noir-themed Halloween Costume Carnival. There will be six stages and plenty of risqué entertainment. The scariest part may be trying to park, however. Watch out for numerous street closures in the area.
Sen. Ron Calderon allegedly took bribes in FBI sting
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