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State senator subpoenaed as witness in Capitol probe

June 07, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), right, talks with Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) in Sacramento on May 16.
State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), right, talks with Sen. Ben Hueso… (Rich Pedroncelli / AP )

State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles)  said Friday that he has been served with a subpoena by the U.S. attorney’s office to testify before a federal grand jury, just days after the FBI seized records from the office of Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).

Capitol sources said federal authorities have contacted multiple state lawmakers and at least one Capitol lobbyist this week with questions about Calderon and his legislative activity.

De Leon, who chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, said he will comply with the subpoena, which asks for him to testify before a grand jury in July.

“Yesterday I received a subpoena requesting information from the US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles,”  De Leon said in a statement Friday.  “I’ve communicated to the US Attorney’s office my willingness to cooperate fully. The US Attorney’s office has asked that the details of their inquiry remain confidential.  I intend to honor that request.”

When asked if De Leon is a target  of the investigation, Dan Reeves, the senator’s chief of staff, said, “We have been advised that he is not a target.”

Some lawmakers, asked by The Times if they have been subpoenaed, said they have been directed by the FBI to refer reporters' calls to that federal agency.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) declined to answer questions about whether he or members of the Senate have been subpoenaed.

“I’m not going to comment on any part of the investigation,” Steinberg said in an interview before the Senate floor session Thursday. One source said Steinberg has not been subpoenaed.

Other key senators said they had not been subpoenaed, which could indicate the FBI is looking at a narrow list of lawmakers to be interviewed.

The FBI seized documents from Calderon’s Capitol office Tuesday, saying it was “taking evidence respective to an ongoing investigation." A law enforcement source has confirmed to The Times that Calderon is "the focus of the investigation."


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