Senator Leland Yee arrested for corruption

March 27, 2014
Leland Yee

Leland Yee

California secretary of state candidate State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested on federal corruption charges during an FBI sting on Wednesday. [LATimes]

According to the indictment, Yee is accused of sidestepping campaign donation rules in exchange for political favors, and of engaging in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license. In addition to arresting Yee, federal investigators arrested gangster Raymond Chow, also known as “Shrimp Boy,” and two dozen of their alleged associates.

Chow, 54, has a criminal history that includes racketeering and robbery, and is the “supreme authority” in the Triad, an international organized crime group.

Also arrested was political consultant Keith Jackson, 49, who worked to raise money for Yee’s political campaigns. Jackson allegedly brokered some of the introductions between Yee and prospective donors who turned out to be undercover FBI agents.

Following the arrests, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg called on Yee to either resign or face suspension by his colleagues.

Asian gang leader Shrimp Boy

Asian gang leader Shrimp Boy

“We’re going to demand that Leland Yee — yes, innocent until proven guilty — leave the Senate and leave it now,” Steinberg said at a news conference on Wednesday.

If Yee does not resign, the Senate is prepared to suspend him during its next floor session Friday, Steinberg said.

After a little more than a year of a Democrat supermajority in both houses of the California Legislature, the legal troubles of Democrats has cost the party its state Senate majority.

In early March, State Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) took a paid leave of absence while he fights federal corruption charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other offenses and State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) also took a paid leave of absence as he prepares to fight felony convictions for perjury and voter fraud.

The legal troubles of Yee, Calderon and Wright has given new power to Republicans who lost their relevance in the 2012 election that gave Democrats a supermajority in both houses.

California law requires that proposed constitutional amendments, new taxes and fees and ballot propositions win by a two-thirds vote of the lawmakers in each house.

 


25 Comments

  1. Pelican1 says:

    Imagine that….yet another corrupt lawmaker. One of many who has been busy making laws that welcome and accommodate those who have chosen to break the law.
    The Golden State ain’t so golden after all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  2. Rambunctious says:

    Nothing to see here…no surprises…Just your typical democrat power and money hungry public office holder….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  3. LameCommenter says:

    All these Democrats. Is somebody letting the Repubs slide on corruption?

    As to Yee, remember that a suspension will turn into a “leave of absence” like convicted felon Rod Wright, so Yee can continue his $ 98,000 a year pay and only lose per diem and expense money

    WHAT is WITH these political people:
    Corrupt – – Calderon (brothers), Wright, Yee
    Stupid – – Brown (bullet train, assault weapons ban)
    Do-nothing placeholder drone vote – – Capps
    hopeless liberal – – A.G. Kamala Harris
    politically selected liberal – – (fill in name of your choice)
    clowns-in-office – – A. Hill
    openly banging paid subordinate – – do I have to repeat his name
    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ note: I realize it’s almost CRASS to write those words. I cannot believe that the situation is true, open, and notorious so that the words fit the facts.

    dios salveme

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  4. Citizen says:

    Uncle Leland and Shrimp Boy–another California Senate story. How corrupt is it? Let’s look at a part time legislature with part time pay. Take away the money and you have less crime.

    “Another way Yee sought to raise money for his 2014 secretary of state campaign was by promising to help undercover agents obtain illegal guns from an international arms dealer, federal authorities allege. Authorities say Yee, who has promoted gun control legislation in the Senate, helped orchestrate illegal, transnational arms deals.

    Yee touted his connection to an anonymous Filipino arms broker who had funneled guns to rebel groups in the Philippines and could source guns from Russia, the affidavit says. The affidavit quotes Yee as saying, “I have seen what he has done in the past on other products and this guy has the relationships” and describing an encounter with “armed guards with machine guns” during a visit to the Philippines.

    “Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money,” the affidavit quotes Yee as saying. “Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods.”

    Later, Yee shifted to a different dealer named Wilson Lim whose “associates in the Philippines were trying to overthrow the current government and needed money,” according to the affidavit. Yee participated in detailed discussions about transporting the guns back to the U.S. and talked about the violence and unrest engulfing parts of the Philippines, it says.

    The same year the undercover agent got Yee to facilitate the illegal gun transaction, the senator carried a pair of gun control bills.

    His measures would have strengthened registration requirements by expanding the definition of assault weapons (Senate Bill 43) and compelled the Department of Justice to study safe gun storage (SB 108)”. Sacramento Bee.

    I

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  5. SpeakTruth says:

    I guess we should believe the anti self-defense politicians when they say “It’s too easy for criminals to get a gun”. This one apparently has first-hand experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  6. Niles Q says:

    Good riddance to Yee-haw.

    In bed with the Chinese Triad? I’m not surprised in the least.

    Organized crime is alive and well, though today mostly eating Bortsch and Chow Mein not pasta.

    Good for the FBI. Get rid of ALL of these crooks, since voters can’t seem to bring themselves to vote them out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  7. Robert1 says:

    No big surprise, Cali politics are full of thieves and liars, no part lines in this group either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  8. info says:

    Kudos for the post CCN!

    But “conspiracy to deal firearms without a license” sounds too vague and seems to be a minor offense.

    How about “conspiracy to import MACHINE GUNS and SHOULDER-FIRED MISSILES……worth millions”. There….that sounds better.

    Yes Mr. Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll himself who supported SB47 and authored SB108 and other gun control legislation is a hypocrite.

    The worst part about this? I’m not surprised. Very disappointing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  9. cosmos7 says:

    I am simultaneously amused and disgusted that one of the most anti-gun members of our legislature is going down for weapons trafficking. It isn’t even allegedly… they’ve got him on tape explicitly offering automatic weapons to undercover agents.

    Very happy to see him go…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 0

    • whatdouno says:

      Very sadly he won’t go down; he’ll just float away to be a turd in someone else’s pool.

      Politicians and government people like hiring proven criminals because they know they don’t have to train them.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  10. KiloVoltaire says:

    Thanks for fixing it so fast. I was concerned that Calderon was getting too much credit for his corruption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

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