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Roderick Wright Voter Fraud And Perjury Trial Put Off Another Month

Paresh Dave |
September 26, 2012 | 9:47 a.m. PDT

Executive Director

California State Sen. Roderick Wright will not stand trial over allegations that he lied about his address when he ran for office in 2008 before voters in South L.A. County decide whether or not to re-elect him during the Nov. 6 election.

Judge Kathleen Kennedy granted on Wednesday Wright's attorney's request to delay a pretrial conference until Oct. 31, meaning a trial wouldn't begin until after Thanksgiving.

"We haven't been sloppy," attorney Winston Kevin McKesson told the judge. "I spoke with counsel yesterday that we're narrowing down who are experts are going to be"

Wright has plead not guilty to charges to two counts of perjury, one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy and five counts of voting fraud. The district attorney's office has alleged Wright filed for his state senate candidacy using an address of an apartment complex he owned but no longer lived in. Instead, prosecutors say he illegally resided outside of his district.

Wright was elected in 2010 to represent a district that stretches from  Palos Verdes and Long Beach up to Inglewood, Compton and much of South L.A while excluding Carson and Torrance. But during redistricting last year, his district moved north stretching from Burbank to Upland through the Angeles National Forest.

So this year, he's seeking election in the 35th district, which runs down from Inglewood to Long Beach and remains majority Latino and African-American. Both his old district and new district have more than three times as many registered Democrats as Republicans.

Wright faced a Democratic challenger in the June primary, but even combined, the two Democrats were beat out in terms of total votes by their Republican opponent, Charlotte Svolos.

Wright's attorney has said the prosecutors' evidence stems from 2009, two years after an initial tip, and that the fact that Wright was elected by then makes the issue moot.

As of June 30, Wright had about $100,000 left for his re-election campaign. From a separate account with about $90,000 left as of June 30, Wright has spent at least $97,500 on his attorney.

If re-elected and then convicted, Wright likely would have to leave office.

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