LOS ANGELES — On Jan. 28, a jury convicted Sen. Rod Wright on eight felony perjury and voter fraud charges regarding questions about where he lived.
If two-thirds of the 40-member California Senate votes against him, he will lose his seat.
State law requires legislators to live in the district they represent. Prosecutors said Wright did not live in his Inglewood home, when he ran for office in 2008. Instead, he lived in Baldwin Hills.
Wright pleaded not guilty. Wright said he bought the Baldwin Hills home in 2000 to use as an office for his real estate investment business. Wright also said that he never registered to vote or applied for a driver’s license using the Baldwin Hills address.
He argued that during his run for the District 25, he was registered to vote and had possessions in the Inglewood home, which he’s owned since 1977. A woman, who he considers his step-mother lives there.
The court focused on the legal distinction between a “domicile” – a long-term home – and a “residence,” or temporary dwelling.
Neighbors testified that they routinely saw Wright at the Baldwin Hills house, while Wright’s tenant at the Inglewood home testified she had never seen him spend the night in Inglewood.