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CA: Romero Called to Testify (summoned by grand jury, ongoing Don Perata FBI probe - PerataGate)
LA Times ^ | 6/1/06 | Dan Morain and Evan Halper

Posted on 06/01/2006 8:57:51 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

SACRAMENTO—State Sen. Gloria Romero of Los Angeles was summoned Wednesday to appear before a grand jury in the FBI probe of Senate chief Don Perata's business dealings.

Romero, a member of Perata's Democratic leadership team and one of his closest allies, said an FBI agent delivered a subpoena to her Capitol office requiring her to appear in July in Oakland, Perata's hometown.

Romero said in an interview that she is being called to testify as a witness. She said she declined to be interviewed by FBI agents and asked that they issue the subpoena.

"All along, I've thought this has been a fishing expedition," Romero said of the investigation, which became public in 2004. "I asked them to be specific about their questions and to give me a subpoena…. I look forward to answering whatever questions they may have."

Agents have shown interest in legislation that Romero carried three years ago to raise taxes on alcohol by a nickel per drink — a direction that has puzzled Capitol denizens. Romero's bill stalled early in the process.

The subpoena is believed to be the first issued to a sitting legislator in the Capitol since the 1980s, when the FBI launched an undercover anti-corruption operation that put a dozen lawmakers, lobbyists and others in jail. The bribery and extortion case became known as "Shrimpgate" because undercover agents posing as businessmen paid campaign donations in exchange for legislation to permit a new shrimp-processing plant.

The FBI's inquiry into Perata's business affairs became known when agents issued subpoenas to individuals and entities in Perata's East Bay district. That was three months after senators had narrowly elected Perata as president pro tem, the most powerful post in the upper house.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; donperata; fbiprobe; grandjury; peratagate; romero; testify

1 posted on 06/01/2006 8:57:56 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

The noose tightens on Dan

2 posted on 06/01/2006 10:06:25 AM PDT by Uncle Hal
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