Former CA Sen. Rod Wright Completes 90 Day Jail Term In One Day
Former California State Sen. Rod Wright arrived at the Los Angeles County Jail last week to begin his 90 day sentence for various felonies, but was in and out of prison in just an hour and a half.
Wright was convicted of 8 felonies, including voter fraud and perjury, after he was caught lying about his place of residence in order to represent a district where he did not live. The former senator told officials that he resided in Inglewood, but in reality was found to be living in the more upscale neighborhood of Baldwin Hills.
The prosecution of such crimes is a gray area of the law, due to the fact that many lawmakers own various homes in a variety of districts. Sometimes authorities pursue legislators who violate the official rule, but often times the behavior is overlooked.
A judge sentenced Wright to 90 days in prison, ordered him to complete 1,500 hrs. of community service, and barred him from holding public office again.
The 62-year-old checked in to the jail around 9:30 PM last Friday, was processed and booked, and had already been released by 10:41 PM. Some were stunned by the fact that Wright would not actually serve any real time, but officials said that his quick release had nothing to do with his previous position in the state legislature.
Quick release due to overcrowded jails
“Everyone goes to the same process,” said Nicole Nishida, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Due to the fact that Wright had no previous criminal record, and that his crimes were not violent in nature, the state decided to release him early in order to reduce prison overcrowding.
“This is typical,” said Wright’s attorney, Kevin McKesson. “The jails are overcrowded. The jail should be reserved for people who are dangerous to society. Sen. Wright presents no dangerous to society. In fact, he is an asset to society.”
Wright was instrumental in creating the framework for an online poker bill in the state of California. Through the years he introduced several iPoker bills, including SB 1463 and SB 51, but the political climate wasn’t right at the time and none were able to gain traction.
Analysts now believe the state’s gaming interests will come together in 2015 and back a bill sponsored by assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer.
Wright still believes that he complied with all laws when registering as a candidate and maintains his innocence. His lawyer is currently planning an appeal and is confident that the former senator will be “vindicated totally.”