Another state senator bites the dust. The unearthing of criminal activity involving state level politicians is becoming a recurring theme in the weekly news cycle. Yet people continue to tune in to hear politician’s ideas, they continue to vote, and they continue to pay their salaries.
Two weeks ago we reported on a PA state senator that was charged with two felonies, theft of services and a conflict of interest violation under the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act. LeAnna Washington (D) could be facing up to twelve years in prison and a maximum $15,000 fine for her role in allegedly pressuring her staff to perform political activities using tax payer dollars. Unfortunately, this state senator from the Keystone State has plenty of company in corruption out on the west coast in the Golden State.
California state senators have been keeping law enforcement busy for the past several months. State Senator Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) was convicted by a jury of eight felonies for perjury and voter fraud in late January. State Senator Ronald S. Calderon (D-30th District) is facing federal corruption charges for allegedly accepting $100,000 in bribes, meals at high-priced restaurants, and extravagant golf outings in exchange for actions on legislation. Both Wright and Calderon are currently on paid leave from the senate. Then on Wednesday of this week, news broke that a third state senator was going to face criminal charges. The SF Examiner provided coverage on the charges against State Senator Leland Yee.
A Democratic state senator from San Francisco who’s known for his gun-control and violence-prevention efforts was arrested Wednesday on federal corruption and firearms charges.
Sen. Leland Yee was released from custody Wednesday on $500,000 bail after appearing handcuffed and shackled in federal court.
The 137-page affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against Yee, who represents parts of San Francisco and San Mateo County, and dozens of others culminated a yearslong investigation by the FBI into allegations of firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder for hire, drug distribution, trafficking in contraband cigarettes and honest-services fraud.
Court documents say Yee or one of his campaign staffers accepted at least $42,800 in cash or campaign contributions from undercover FBI agents in exchange for carrying out agents’ requests. He is also accused of trying to help an undercover agent obtain weapons from a Muslim rebel group.
Yee looked downcast as he appeared in court Wednesday. He told the judge he understood the charges against him.
Notorious Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow and San Francisco political consultant Keith Jackson were among the 25 others named in the affidavit, and both were also arrested Wednesday.
Yee has been charged with conspiracy to traffic firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, along with six counts of defrauding citizens of honest services.
A California state senator seeking to maintain power, teams up with a local political crony consultant and a Chinese criminal who goes by the name “Shrimp Boy”. That sounds like the beginning of a winning plot for a Rush Hour IV movie!
Alas, it’s not a movie plot, this is real life and accurately reflects the political corruption that feeds the unproductive that leech off of the productive sector in our society.
According to the affidavit, Keith Jackson, owner of a San Francisco-based consulting firm and contributor to Senator Yee’s campaigns, solicited cash donations well in excess of the legal limit, in exchange for political favors. Jackson allegedly accepted a $10,000 cash donation from an undercover agent on one occasion. Jackson and Yee were trying to retire debt from Yee’s failed mayoral campaign and raise money for Yee’s upcoming race for the office of Secretary of the State.