SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Democratically controlled California Senate has voted to suspend three Democrats who face criminal charges, after the latest lawmaker to be hauled into court refused to step down.

Friday's 28-1 vote in the 40-member chamber came amid one of the most severe ethical crises in modern times for the Legislature in the nation's most populous state.

The resolution prevents Democratic Sens. Ron Calderon, Leland Yee and Rod Wright from exercising any power of their office until the pending criminal cases against them have been resolved. Even so, they will continue receiving their $95,000 annual salaries.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg acknowledged the public criticism of the chamber but told his fellow lawmakers before the vote that "this is not what this Senate is about."

(Story by: Don Thompson, The Associated Press)