Darrell Steinberg

By Laurel Rosenhall
Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 – 6:52 am

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg on Thursday rejected a fellow senator’s claim that he is the target of an FBI corruption investigation and said allegations in Sen. Ron Calderon’s most recent court filing are “beyond the pale.”

“I am not a target of this investigation, I am not a subject of this investigation,” Steinberg said in a talk with reporters outside the Capitol.

Calderon, D-Montebello, filed a motion late Wednesday asking the federal court to hold the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in contempt, contending they leaked an affidavit that alleges he accepted $88,000 in bribes from an undercover agent and a Long Beach hospital executive.

In the filing, Calderon says the FBI asked him to wear a wire and secretly record conversations with Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who is Senate president pro tem, and Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

“The FBI was specifically interested in Senator Steinberg’s financial activities with Michael Drobot, the former chief executive officer of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach,” the filing in federal court says.

Steinberg said Thursday that he has “no relationship with Michael Drobot,” but that the former hospital executive had attended Senate Democrat fundraising events, including making a $50,000 contribution to attend the golf tournament known as the Pro Tem Cup in 2011 and giving $60,000 to attend the same event in 2012. Campaign finance reports show that Drobot and his various companies have given more than $1.3 million in campaign contributions since 2000, nearly all of it to Democrats and the Democratic Party.

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