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An office mole helped FBI snare California senator

One of California state Sen. Ron Calderon’s own aides helped the FBI run the sting that led to the politician’s arrest in February.

Documents unsealed Friday and obtained by the AP revealed new details about the FBI’s six-year investigation of Calderon and his brother, Tom, a former assemblyman.

In addition to the office mole, a former state Assembly employee worked undercover with the FBI.

Ron Calderon, pictured above, was indicted in February on two dozen counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other charges, and accused of accepting $100,000 in bribes from a hospital owner and undercover FBI agents.

Prosecutors allege he accepted the cash bribes, along with fancy dinners and trips to golf resorts.

His brother was named in the indictment and charged with conspiracy and seven counts of money laundering.

Prosecutors say Calderon accepted bribes from Michael Drobot, a Long Beach hospital owner, to preserve a legislative loophole that allowed Drobot to defraud the state’s healthcare system out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Drobot agreed to plead guilty to separate federal charges and is cooperating in the case against the Calderon brothers, prosecutors say.

The Sacramento Bee said Saturday the unsealed documents refer to FBI informants “who met regularly with investigators and shared texts and emails from Calderon.”

The informants weren’t named but were referred to in FBI documents as “Steve” and “Sam.”

One was described as holding a high-level position on Ron Calderon’s staff and the other as previously holding a high level advisory position in the California Assembly.

“The documents portray Steve as the main mole in Calderon’s office,” the Sacramental Bee said, “sharing emails between himself and Calderon with the FBI.”

Calderon has been suspended from the California Senate and is free on bail, the report said.

He and his brother Tom have pleaded not guilty.

Both face sentences that amount to life in prison if convicted on all counts.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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