State Senator Roderick Wright has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the California State Senate to deal with pending legal matters, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg announced Tuesday.
Wright, who was recently found guilty of eight counts of voter fraud and perjury based on allegations that he lied about where he lived when he ran for the State Senate in 2008, is currently preparing post-trial motions in advance of his May 16 sentencing date.
“Today I met with Senator Wright and he requested an indefinite leave of absence pending the conclusion of the legal process now before the trial court in Los Angeles,” said Steinberg in a statement. “I’ve accepted his request and wish him well going forward.”
In January, a Los Angeles County jury accepted the District Attorney’s argument that a successful man such as Wright, who has fought for our community for more than forty years, would not have lived in the Inglewood home he has owned since 1977. They reached the conclusion Wright would have lived in “swanky” Baldwin Hills, and therefore must have lied when registering to vote at his longtime Inglewood property, where his stepmother also lives.
“After much reflection, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the State Senate, so that I may devote my full attention to pending legal matters,” said Wright. “It is a great honor to represent the people of the 35th Senate District. I remain hopeful that – through due process – I will once again have the opportunity to fight for laws that strengthen our communities and support those most in need.”
The City of Inglewood – while largely working class – has homes valued at more than $700,000, is home to the newly-remodeled “Fabulous Forum” and was recently honored as an “All American City.” Baldwin Hills is also home to both affluent and working class neighborhoods.
Wright’s departure leaves just one Black member of the California State Senate, newly-elected Senator Holly Mitchell, and leaves Democrats with a bare two-thirds majority.