The state legislator who often says his constituents’ main concern is landing a “j-o-b” may be in need of a new one himself.
A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday convicted state Sen. Rod Wright on eight felony counts in a case that challenged whether he lived in the district he represented, potentially sending the Democratic lawmaker to prison for up to eight years. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 12.
Prosecutors alleged Wright did not live in the Inglewood home he listed as his address when he ran for office in 2008, and instead lived in Baldwin Hills, a swankier community outside the boundaries of his working-class district. They charged him with eight felony counts – two counts of perjury, one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy and five counts of fraudulent voting.
Jessica Levinson, an election law expert at Loyola Law School, said the difference in how cases are treated can reflect varying priorities among county prosecutors.
“These are very visible cases,” Levinson said. “When you bring a case against a legislator you want to be really sure you’re going to win, because it’s going to be in the paper.”