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FBI search targeted Calderon office, not Latino caucus, officials say

June 05, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy

Officials for the state Senate said Wednesday that a second office searched by FBI agents the day before was an overflow office for state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), not the office of the Latino Legislative Caucus as previously announced.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Tony Beard Jr. had said Tuesday that the caucus offices in the Legislative Office Building were searched along with the main office of Calderon in the Capitol.

The search took place in an overflow room Calderon maintained in Room 592 at the Legislative Office Building, not Room 511, where the caucus operates, according to Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), the caucus chairman.

IN DEPTH: Calderon targeted by FBI

“They attribute the mistake to an old roster,” Lara said. “In any event, the Latino Caucus stands ready to assist the Justice Department and do whatever we can to bring this to a speedy resolution.”

Lara said he has not been contacted by federal authorities regarding caucus finances.

“If anything, we pride ourselves on the fact that we were able to implement reforms to make sure the caucus moves forward in a way that is transparent and all our information is available for anyone to see,” Lara said. “We welcome any scrutiny. I pride myself as the chair of making sure everything is kosher.”

A federal law enforcement source has said Calderon was "the focus of the investigation." Officials would not disclose the nature of the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Tuesday that a court order prevented any further public disclosure about the matter and the agency was "taking evidence respective to an ongoing investigation."

Beard released a statement Tuesday saying, "We have no further information. The Senate has and will continue to fully cooperate with the agents in this matter."

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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