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State Senator Leland Yee arrested on corruption, bribery charges

Leland Yee arriving at Phillip Burton Federal Building, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Photo: KPIX

State Senator Leland Yee was arrested this morning by the FBI on public corruption charges at his Sunset District home and taken to the federal building in San Francisco, where he will be arraigned at 1:30pm.

Yee, a Democrat, represents Senate District 8, which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County.

The FBI also raided his office in Sacramento and the Ghee Kung Tong Supreme Lodge of the Chinese Freemasons in San Francisco’s Chinatown, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The investigation is also targeting Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a notorious former San Francisco gangster, who was arrested today.

Yee was led away from his home in handcuffs this morning. Other locations being searched include a building on the 1700 block of Hyde Street, a home on the 600 block of 42nd Avenue in San Mateo, and Yee’s office in Sacramento.

Yee, a former San Francisco school board member and supervisor and member of the state Assembly, is a candidate for California Secretary of State, one of the state’s seven highest offices.

As a candidate, he has promised to “increase government transparency, support small businesses, reform campaign financing and protect the most vulnerable.”

UPDATE 5:18pm: The charges against Yee include conspiracy to deal firearms without a license, conspiracy to illegally transport firearms, six counts of a scheme to defraud citizens on his services, and wire fraud. Lee was released on a $500,000 unsecured bond and will return to court Monday, March 31st to revisit the terms of his release. A total of 26 people were arrested on a variety of charges, including murder-for-hire, drug trafficking and gun running, according to the federal criminal complaint. Read the criminal complaint (PDF, 16MB)

Sarah B.

[via SFGate, Huffington Post, SFAppeal, CBS SF]

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11:46 am | Posted under Crime | 14 comments
  1. phil said (03/26/14; 3:20 pm):

    Regardless of whether one is a supporter of Lee, or not, this is probably the end of Mr. Lee’s political career. I find this unfortunate because I supported his stance on gun control.

    Last, I am not of Asian origin, but am greatly disappointed at the the overtly racist comments written in the forums following the announcement of this breaking news.

  2. Local links: Pho closing, Saturday events, Farmer’s Market extended & more | Richmond SF Blog said (03/27/14; 9:25 am):

    […] State Senator Leland Yee arrested on corruption, bribery charges […]

  3. SFNative said (03/27/14; 9:43 am):

    I see all of Lee’s actions as a smoke screen for his now obvious underworld activities. As far as racist comments, if you read them from SFGate, it’s an everyday occurrence, If you dig into most of the commentators, you will find that most don’t even live in SF/Bay Area or even California. Best to just ignore them. Trolls are lonely, lonely people.

  4. phil said (03/27/14; 10:40 am):

    Here’s a comprehensive graphic that lays out the players and their relationships in the Yee case.

  5. Derek said (03/27/14; 10:56 am):

    Isn’t it interesting how quiet willie brown and rose pak have been?

    But of course camera whore gavin newsom just *had* to get on TV and express his disappointment.

    Given *his* chummy picture with “shrimp boy” he really should keep his mouth shut:


  6. phil said (03/27/14; 3:00 pm):

    @Derek I will bet that photo was pursued by “Shrimp Boy”. Newsom has taken photos with many THOUSANDS of people. Guilt by photographic association is kind of a stretch, don’t you think?

    Newsom had/has his share of faults and problems but I will take him over Ed Lee or Willie Brown ANY day! As for Ed Lee, just when San Francisco required a real leader, who did we get? Lee has always been a quiet “yes man” behind the scenes; he is a very clever fellow, but he’s no leader.

    All that said, politics DOES require polite cooperation with all kind of people that one would otherwise never associate with; it’s part of the “game” of politics. One can lightly consort with those with whom one hold severe disagreement, as long as one doesn’t adopt the others’ value structure. The main problem with most politicians these days is that they want to remain politicians until they retire. As politics is the “art of compromise” there at some point occurs a tipping point at which many politicians end up neutered, relative to the value set that they originally came to office on. Add to that the plutocratic influence of big money into politics and we have a problem.

    Last, VOTERS are the ones and the ONLY ones who can change this! I’m amazed that we continue to re-elect politicians who continue to remain in place, or move at slower than a glacial pace.

  7. Rob Silver said (03/27/14; 7:10 pm):

    Yee = Scum.

  8. Mikey said (03/28/14; 10:07 am):

    That’s THREE Democrat senators arrested in the last week. This is what one party rule and big government gets you folks. House of Cards anyone?

  9. renee said (03/28/14; 10:49 am):

    Well said, Phil. I heard a politician (can’t remember which one) refer to the “profession” of politicians. That’s a problem right there. The pros and cons of term limits have been kicked around for a long time. We don’t want green politicians who can’t find the restroom down the hall, but too much familiarity may breed not only a smug contempt for the indifferent and uninformed electorate, but an arrogant sense of entitlement that lets them believe they can get away with … whatever they can.

  10. Alan said (03/29/14; 11:29 pm):

    Could you please change the post so that the video does not autoplay?

  11. Ann said (03/31/14; 6:01 pm):

    I completely agree with Alan, the autoplay is extremely annoying. Even after I clicked it off, it came back on again twice. Please get rid of it!

  12. cha sao bao said (04/2/14; 3:32 pm):

    This is so sad and disappointing. While not a supporter of soon to be former senator Yee, certainly hoped he could create positive and lasting changes in our government.

    If you read the entire complaint it is disturbing how close these crimes and criminals (mainly the triads) hit home. It is all connected and sadly the roots run very very deeply. So very disturbing. Hoping some positive reforms grows from the seeds of this disaster.

  13. Theo from Hospiatality House , SF said (04/15/14; 8:41 am):

    The young black people end up in jails and institutions while some sell out BLACKS,who are SUPPOSED TO BE ROLE MODELS TO SUCCESS like keith Jackson (THE fiancee of Wily Brown) spends 1000s every day for food and drink. Currently the Hospiatality House is having problems meeting the needs of the most volunerable in the city because the mayor’s city’s budget favor the rich and the least volunerable. After Buster’s place at 150 Otis street closed for budget reasons the cities jail had been 99% black young people going in a rotating door in and out of jail.

  14. phil said (04/15/14; 5:55 pm):


    you said: “After Buster’s place at 150 Otis street closed for budget reasons the cities jail had been 99% black young people going in a rotating door in and out of jail”

    I agree that the legal system is biased, but do you have a cite for your claim? Where can one find proof to corroborate your 99% number?

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