Senator Wright Found Guilty!!!
Senator Rod Wright faces up to eight years in prison at his sentencing in March, after he was convicted of voter fraud and perjury January 28, 2014 in a Los Angeles courtroom. The 61-year-old was indicted in the fall of 2010, when he pleaded not guilty and said he believed he had been following the law back in 2007 when he started the process for his candidacy. However, during his trial which began January 8 prosecutors accused him of providing false information on his candidacy documents, claiming he lived at an Inglewood address and making himself eligible to run in the 25th Senate District and to cast votes in the city of Inglewood.
They said he actually lived in a Baldwin Hills property that he purchased in 2000 but has been holding the 25th District seat since 2008. Wright has maintained that the Baldwin Hills property was not his main residence but its top floor was used as an office. The Inglewood property was where he moved in “clothing and personal items and did other things to make it his legal residence,” he said.
But according to news reports, Deputy District Attorney Bjorn Dodd told jurors during the trial that Wright’s Inglewood property was nothing more than “a Hollywood prop.’’ “He never intended for that to be the place for him to stay,’’ Dodd told Jurors.
Wright’s attorney Winston Kevin McKesson countered, stating that his client followed the law by establishing “domicile” at the Inglewood property where his stepmother was renting a unit.
“Their case is unsupported by the existing law,’’ Wright’s attorney said. “There’s no fraud here. There’s no victims. There’s no crime. This prosecution is offensive … To find him guilty of any charge in this case would be a gross injustice,” he said.
“Obviously we’re disappointed and we disagree with the verdict. I believe I followed the law as written, and this case was decided not based on the law, but based on perceptions. I have great respect for our jury system, and to the jurors for their service. They did their best to delve into the nuances of legal language – between residence and domicile. In the end, we learned you can follow the law and still be charged and convicted based on others’ perceptions of the law. I look forward to proving my case on appeal, said Wright.”
McKesson described Wright to jurors as “compassionate” and “a dedicated public servant.”