LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted Tuesday of eight charges of fraud and perjury for living outside the district he was elected to represent.
Wright was convicted on five counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy. He was indicted in September 2010 after an investigation was prompted by a tip to prosecutors that Wright was living outside the district.
Wright faces up to eight years and four months in jail when he is sentenced on March 12. The lawmaker, who will remain free on bail, declined to comment as he left court.
Prosecutors said the 61-year-old politician lived at the Baldwin Hills house between 2007 and 2009 — the time period cited in the charges.
But Wright’s attorney countered that “they don’t know the law,” saying the word “live” is not in the elections code and calling the investigation “careless.”
McKesson said Wright was using the Baldwin Hills property as an office to deal with matters that couldn’t legally be handled at his district office in Inglewood and never considered that property as his principal place of residence.
Wright testified that he had never taken a homeowner’s exemption on the Baldwin Hills property.
“I don’t consider it to be my primary residence,” the senator testified.
He said he had never registered to vote using the Baldwin Hills address or changed his driver’s license to that address, explaining, “I’ve never considered it a domicile.”
According to the biography on his Senate website, Wright “is a home and business owner in the city of Inglewood where he remains active in community and civic affairs.”
The district Wright represents includes cities such as Inglewood, Gardena, Compton, Long Beach, Torrance and Wilmington.
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