SACRAMENTO — An attorney representing former state Sen. Paul B. Carpenter in two federal political corruption cases disclosed Friday that the Democratic politician has terminal cancer and may have as little as two years to live.
In a brief appearance in federal district court, attorney Charles F. Bloodgood said that surgeons who removed Carpenter's prostate gland Monday found that the cancer had spread and that he will need additional treatment, most likely radiation.
Initial indications were that the ailing former lawmaker could have as much as 10 years to live, Bloodgood said, but physicians now consider the cancer to be "a terminal condition."
Bloodgood said that his client, still recuperating in a Southern California hospital, is more determined than ever to clear his name.
"Paul is anxious, even under the present circumstances, to get the trial moving," Bloodgood said after the court session. "He's indicated to me many times that he's not interested in a plea bargain of any kind."
In 1990, a jury found Carpenter guilty of extortion, racketeering and conspiracy after he accepted $20,000 in campaign contributions from an undercover FBI agent who was part of an elaborate sting operation.
But an appeals court overturned the verdict last year, setting the stage for a new trial.
On Friday, Federal District Court Judge Edward J. Garcia refused to grant Carpenter an immediate hearing on a motion to dismiss the case based on "outrageous government conduct" in pursuit of corruption indictments.
Bloodgood said he hoped that the retrial could begin by September, but no date has been set.
Carpenter is also a co-defendant in an unrelated corruption case filed against him and Capitol lobbyist Clayton R. Jackson. That trial is scheduled to start in mid-October.