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Governor pardons former state legislator

LOS ANGELES — Former Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright, who was convicted of voter fraud for living outside the Inglewood-area district he was elected to represent, was formally pardoned Nov. 21 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Wright’s was one of 38 pardons and 70 sentence commutations announced by Brown.

In his pardon of Wright, Brown wrote, “He has shown that since his release from custody, he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.

“Indeed, Mr. Wright has devoted much of his life to public service, including serving six years in the California State Senate and six years in the California Assembly,” Brown wrote.

The pardon also notes that state law was changed in light of Wright’s conviction to clarify rules “regarding the domicile of an elected official.”

Wright was indicted in 2010 and convicted four years later of five counts of fraudulent voting, two counts of perjury by declaration and one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy. Prosecutors said Wright was living in Baldwin Hills, roughly five miles outside the Inglewood-area district he was elected to represent in November 2008.

During the trial, his attorney — Winston Kevin McKesson — maintained that Wright “followed the law,” telling jurors he had “established domicile” at the Inglewood property, where his stepmother was renting a unit from him.

Wright was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years probation and 1,500 hours of community service. He surrendered to the Los Angeles County jail in November 2014, but was released after about 90 minutes.

He was suspended from the state Senate after his conviction, and submitted his resignation three days after his sentencing hearing in October 2014.

From City News Service