What a difference a week makes. California State Senator Roderick Wright (D- Inglewood) seemed to be a light for legalized online poker in the state has now been indicted by a grand jury on eight counts including filing a false declaration of candidacy, voter fraud and perjury beginning back in 2007. If convicted, Wright faces up to eight years and four months in state prison.
He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting bail of $45,000. His next court date is October 8th. Senator Wright is popular among his fellow colleagues who were quick to come to his defense. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D- Sacramento) said,
“Rod Wright has been a strong voice in the civil rights community for over 30 years. And while all of us are expected to obey the laws, a criminal indictment on a merit of residency threatens to silence a voice that I will continue to listen to and respect.”
Senator Wright is the author of Senate Bill 1485 which was making headway as a potential way to bring legalized online poker to the state of California. It was gaining some pretty strong support from the Indian nations and fellow Senate leaders.
It is no secret that California is running on economic fumes and online poker was seen as a possible big influx of state revenue. Though there was plenty of debate to go, it is too early to tell if the indictment of Wright will have an effect on how Bill 1485 will proceed.