California: Alarcon conviction is the latest in string of residency prosecutions | Los Angeles Times

With their convictions this year, two Los Angeles politicians face prison time for a crime once seen as nearly impossible to prosecute. Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was found guilty this week of perjury and voter fraud for lying about where he lived so he could run for city office. With state Sen. Roderick Wright convicted on similar felony charges in January, Alarcon became the ninth politician since 2002 to be successfully prosecuted by the Los Angeles County district attorney for not living in the districts they ran to represent. There was also a Vernon mayor, a West Covina school board member and a Huntington Park city councilwoman, to name just a few. “Any politician who doesn’t take this seriously is really very self-destructive,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles. In the past, the vagueness of the legal standard for residency has made these crimes “particularly difficult to prove,” said UC Irvine election law professor Richard Hasen.

California: Senate’s Republican, Democratic leaders agree district boundary law is ambiguous, needs review

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the state Senate on Monday said a law that ensnared a legislator on perjury and voter-fraud charges is ambiguous and might need to be changed. Sen. Roderick Wright is awaiting sentencing in May after he was convicted last month of lying about his true residence, which a Los Angeles County jury determined was outside his Senate district. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said in separate comments to reporters that current state law is so ambiguous that other lawmakers also could be in violation of a requirement that they live in the district they represent while running for office.