On Monday, Democratic State Sen. Roderick D. Wright, 62, finally said he will step down from office on Sept. 22, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wright wrote the Senate secretary, “Effective Sept. 22, 2014, I hereby resign from the California State Senate.”
Wright’s announcement followed his sentence last Friday of jail time, which includes a lifetime ban from ever holding public office, three years’ probation and 1,500 hours of community service. His sentence was to begin on Oct. 31.
Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), who was part of the negotiations for Wright to leave, said, “Today is a sad day for both my friend and for California. Senator Wright’s prosecution has been unfortunate and, in many ways, unfair. At best, this is an ambiguous law and, in this case, its application has been both arbitrary and selective. But today, Senator Wright did the right thing for his community and the Senate by resigning from office.”
In 2008, Wright lied when he said he lived in Inglewood, which he represented in office, when he actually lived in Baldwin Hills.
After Wright said he would step down, he asked for one week to say farewell to his staff and constituents.
Wright had reportedly planned to stay in office until Oct. 31, but Senate Democratic leaders were worried that if he stayed in office it would hurt them in the Nov. 4 election
The last state legislator to resign from office, the Times notes, was state Sen. Frank Hill (R-Whittier), who resigned in 1994 when he was caught in a sting nicknamed Shrimpscam. hH was later found guilty of extortion, money laundering and conspiracy.
Gov. Jerry Brown has two weeks from the day of Wright’s resignation to call a special election to fill the last two years of Wright’s term.