Snafu emerges in Ron Calderon's complaint against federal government

lrosenhall@sacbee.comJanuary 10, 2014 

California Lawmaker-FBI

State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, right, grimaces as a reporter tries to ask him a question at the end of his brief news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday June 10, 2013, Calderon was a no-show last week with an unexcused absence after at least a half-dozen FBI agents carted boxes from his Sacramento offices following a more than six-hour search Tuesday. Calderon did not answer any questions and no details has been given for the search and not charges have been filed. (AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli)

RICH PEDRONCELLI — AP

A federal judge gave the federal government two months to respond after state Sen. Ron Calderon filed charges in November alleging authorities leaked an FBI affidavit accusing him of bribery as retaliation for his refusal to wear a wire in a sting of two fellow state senators.

Those two months are up on Monday – but don’t expect any response from the government.

Turns out Calderon’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, did not serve the complaint on the government back when he made the filing in federal court on Nov. 13. The court’s 60-day timeline for the government to respond only kicks in once the complaint is officially served.

The Sacramento Bee left Geragos several messages this week to find out what was going on. He never returned the calls.

But he apparently did get around to serving the complaint that asks the court to hold prosecutors in contempt for leaking the 124-page affidavit, and says Sen. Kevin de León and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg are the subjects of the FBI’s investigation.

“The complaint was not properly served on this office until this week,” said an email from Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

“Therefore, our response is not due until early March.”

Jim Wedick, a former FBI agent who participated in a high-profile corruption sting in the Capitol in the 1980s, said the fact that Calderon’s lawyer never served the complaint indicates it was an attempt to generate headlines more than a serious legal maneuver.

“It was a publicity stunt that blew up in their face,” he said.

Call Laurel Rosenhall, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1083. Follow her on Twitter @LaurelRosenhall.

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