Rod Wright and the California Senate’s Culture of Corruption

On April 3, Republican Mike Morrell gave up his seat in the California State Assembly as he was sworn into the State Senate–he had recently won a special election in a Senate District in the Inland Empire. One of the first things that Morrell did was to have his name added to a resolution bottled up in the State Senate’s Rules Committee calling for an immediate vote to remove Senator Rod Wright.

Wright, now rather infamously, continues to serve in the Senate despite having been found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of eight counts of perjury and voter fraud, centered around the Senator falsely saying that he lived in a place where prosecutors convinced jurors he, in fact, did not live at all.

Unlike the United States Constitution, which places no residency requirements on Senators and Members of Congress, California legislators are legally required to live in their districts–though apparently many have not and do not.

Wright went through a full criminal trial, which of course included his being able to present a full defense to the judge and jury. Nevertheless, the jury unanimously found Wright guilty on repeated felony charges in late January.

When it became clear after the guilty verdicts that Wright had no intention of resigning from the Senate, four Republican Senators–Joel Anderson, Steve Knight, Andy Vidak and Mark Wyland–publicly called for a vote to remove Wright from the Senate.


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