Sen. Leland Yee arrested on corruption charges UPDATED

Sen. Leland Yee, on the cover of our 8/30/11 issue, as he ran for mayor of San Francisco.
Guardian photo by Keeney + Law

 California Sen. Leland Yee (D-SF) has reportedly been arrested on corruption charges following an FBI sting and raid on his office. In addition to our 2011 profile of Yee’s checkered voting history, over the last six months we at the Guardian have also been investigating Yee's unseemly votes and actions on behalf of monied interests, so check back later to read our findings and more on today’s unfolding actions against Yee.

UPDATE: We posted a story on Yee's unseemly reputation and voting history here, and we'll soon be posting details of his indictment, which is just now being unsealed.  

UPDATE: We and other journalists are still pouring through the 137-page criminal complaint against Yee and 25 other defendants, but in short it charges that Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow "is currently the Dragonhead, or leader, of the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong organization," an organized crime syndicate involved in widespread criminal activities and money laundering. And it charges that Yee, “aka California State Senator Leland Yee, aka Uncle Leland," helped run an illegal firearms trafficking operation along with political consultant Keith Jackson, a member of the CKT syndicate. Yee is charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, which is ironic given that his legislative bright spot last year was the passage of three tough gun control bills, as we discuss in our related story on his political history. 


You've been too busy being obsessed with successful sharing economy companies like Airbnb and Uber.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 8:39 am

You can do the search from this page. Leland Yee hasn't been mentioned here since Tim Redmond did it in August 2011.

Steven has been in charge for months but the name never came up. Contrast that with AirBNB.

It's just that Yee has now been arrested and Steven T Jones can't wait to now unleash cheap shots while Yee is down.

Tiny little person.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 9:07 am

I think you trolls are more gleeful about zinging me with untrue charges than I am about unleashing our research on Yee later today, work that Reed Nelson has spent many hours on and we were only sitting on because Yee kept canceling our interviews with him, probably because he was aware of the federal investigation. But here's a piece I wrote in September reporting on Yee's recent voting record and making it clear what we think of Yee's ethics:

PS You same trolls were criticizing me for that post and defending Yee for siding with the landlords.

Posted by steven on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 10:16 am

out, depriving you of your scoop.

How do you sleep at night telling whoppers like this?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 11:43 am

There was no urgency to getting our Yee story out, and I was hoping to develop it more and do a bigger piece on it as the Secretary of State's race heated up. Yes, we're busy with many other priorities, I think we do excellent work for a three-person news team, and I renewed my contact with Yee's office just last week. It was you who lied about how we haven't mentioned Yee since I became editor, I've been entirely truthful in describing our work on this story, and in telegraphing to readers that it was coming. And just so you know, I will be deleting any more lies you try to spread on this site. 

Posted by steven on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 1:50 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

Not statements criticizing me, only those that are spreading lies. I don't think anyone who reads our blog would ever accuse me of censoring legitimate criticism, and many have been urging me to do something about you trolls, who seem to be sinking to new depths recently.  

Posted by steven on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

used to determine which comments get deleted, then you should delete half the stuff on here. You allow shitty little trolls to tell shitty little lies all over the place, and none of it ever gets deleted. Is it just lies about you that you care about?

Because the SFBG has refused to engage in any moderation of it's website, most progressive posters have left, and most readers say the comment section has become unreadable.

Is this what "Dinner with David Chiu" Vogt is telling you to do?

Posted by Greg on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

If you seek to censor anyone who disagrees with you then you are no better than a fascist state.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

Progressives should take inspiration from the latest news from North Korea: All true believers are henceforth required to have the same haircut as John Avalos.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

Is it really lies or is it that you just don't want to be confronted with opinions that conflict with your own.

Because I don't think that my fellow Trolls lie all that much. Yes they get some things wrong but on the whole I think their record is better than the writers.

Here is an example. A few days ago Steven wrote "the City Attorney’s Office continues preparing to take legal action against Airbnb".

That's a big statement. Also absolutely not true.

In what way, shape or form did Steven Jones not lie when he published that statement?


That's just one recent example that comes to mind but there are others. Steven T Jones lies, constantly.

So I don't really think that it is the lying that bothers you, it is just who is doing it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

selective omission, and lying.

But you are right - people use the word "troll" to describe anyone who disagrees with them. A useless term, IMO.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

Of course one can make a term seem useless by misapplying it constantly. --i.e. "a troll is just someone who disagrees with you".

A troll uses false rhetoric such as strawman: "So, you are saying...."; "In other words...."; --or the outrightly mendacious "You have said..." or "You have admitted...".

A troll engages in impostering in order to distort and disfigure the appearance of commenters.

A troll repeatedly makes the same arguments and statements without acknowledging or reacting to clear and documented evidence that the statements are false.

These are just some of the habits of real trolls.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 8:43 am

Don't mind Greg. He thinks free speech should only include stuff that he agrees with. He's still mad that Venezuela's government doesn't completely crush the opposition media.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

If someone wishes to challenge what is true for you, then an enlightened editor would allow that, in the interests of free speech.

And if you can't stand the heat them, well, you know.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

Since when has not talking to the subject of a story ever stopped the BG from publishing an article? I often see articles with: "X would not return our calls" or "Y refused to respond to our requests for an interview".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

Leland Yee was mentioned after August - he was also mentioned in October 2011 when he was endorsed by the Bay Guardian as the third choice for Mayor. It's funny how the Bay Guardian endorsed him at the same time they believed he was also corrupt.

Posted by Kristin on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

nobody has accused the landslide winner Ed Lee of corruption, however.

And if SFBG could, they surely would.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

You're claiming with a straight face that the whole Rose Pak/Willie Brown/Ed Lee/ Ron Conway clique isn't corrupt?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

But even if they were, the voters wanted that.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

of the Ron Conway investment group. But that's not corruption. Oh no, that's just normal business practice.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

If you have any, go to the DA.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 5:40 am

The SF DA's office turned the grabbing of an arm into the Crime of the Century. Meanwhile, when a member in good standing of the City Family beat the living daylights out of his partner and sent him to the hospital, they gave him a promotion -to Police Commissioner.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 7:43 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 8:07 am

By this definition everyone who gets elected and goes corrupt should be shielded from criminal accountability because they were elected by the voters?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 5:57 am

He is saying that the voters understand and accept that a certain amount of lubrication is needed to get things done.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 6:15 am

You have to mix things up a little and throw in some quid for that quo.

It's marcos's inability to understand the need for compromise that rendered him moot in local politics.

On his tombstone it will say "I was ineffective, but remained pure".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 6:27 am

Ron Calderon and his brother in January and now Leland Yee - what does this say about the way these groups conduct their affairs when they get in office? They seem to view public office mainly as a means to enriching themselves and their families.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 9:14 am

If you do not like our politicians then blame yourself.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 9:27 am

And besides - politicians have to follow the law as well. Unfortunately due to machine politics in CA many of them have been in one office or another for so long they've forgotten what following the law means. Look at Leland Yee for example - running for office is his career, doesn't matter what it is - he'll run for it. Supervisor, mayor, Assembly, Senate - state office.

Looks like this will be the end for Yee though.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 9:41 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 11:42 am

Only juvenile chickenshit trolls attack under the cloak of anonymity. Have some balls and reveal who you are.

(Sound of crickets chirping).

And, SFBG, why do you keep allowing these these anonymous idiots to attack you? Have some self-respect for yourselves and for your publication.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 11:21 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 11:42 am

>"Only juvenile chickenshit trolls attack under the cloak of anonymity."

You tell em, Um...."Guest".

>"Have some balls and reveal who you are."

Why is that important? So that someone can personally retaliate against us?

Dial our phones in the middle of the night? Spam us with text messages? Throw eggs at our homes? Because of our viewpoints?

Sorry that there are so many flaws in the SFBG narrative and so many ethical gaps in their practices. So buy the SFBG from Todd Vogt and put somebody with some sophistication into Steven's role.

Just getting even with the messengers won't help.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

And he isn't smart enough to see the irony.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

Drinks all around as her nemesis falls. And the SFBG did an article on Yee years ago exposing him, contrary to some opposing views.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

A stopped clock tells the right time twice a day

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

Pretty sure he was framed. I think Americans are just doing stupid shit like they usually do like starting warfare, when they can't afford it and have to borrow money from other countries. American borrow too much money from China as well. I think this is just part of racism that american is known for.

Posted by james simmons on Mar. 28, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

Pretty sure you don't know what you're talking about. Not even Asians are claiming racism here. They either say "we want to see how the legal proceedings go before making a judgement" or "if true, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law". But don't let that affect your anti-American bias.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 28, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

There's a lot of trolls bashing Leland Yee here and I'd like to point out two things

First off, let us not forget what a good friend Leland has been to SEIU. Whatever laws he may have broken, he has always been on the right side of labor. I'm certain that whomever is tasked with political matters in local 1021 will soon be speaking on Leland's behalf to describe how accommodating he has always been where workers are concerned.

Second, despite his corruption charges, Leland is still not as bad as Gavin Newsom. Did you know that Newsom had sex with someone who worked for him? While not technically against the law, it is still at least as bad as many of the things Yee is accused of. Even worse, Newsom has been linked to Ed Lee. Did you know that Ed Lee lied? He said he wasn't going to run for Mayor and then he changed his mind. While that might not have the shock value of gun running or a murder-for-hire scheme, it is much more relevant to the lives of most San Franciscans.

I hope that the Bay Guardian will continue to support Leland Yee, as they did when they endorsed him for Mayor, and not turn their back on him as so many others have done now that times are difficult.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

Why oh why is anyone surprised? I remember telling a friend of mine a few years back when the Ed Jew fiasco was unveiling that Leland Yee was up to his eyeballs in it and that the only reason that he "fingered" Jew was because Jew was a naive wannabe who ran afoul of Yee's machine and tried to do an end run around seasoned and experienced crooks. Jew was just too naive to know who and what he was getting himself into. As I said to my friend then as soon as Jew's time is up they will reel Yee in as well by his fingernails and there will be another greased part of him that will be hanging in the air when he gets his twenty years in state and/or federal prison as he so "richly" deserves. The vaseline will be smeared all over him.
The mayor of Charlotte, the mayor of New Orleans, the mayor of Birmingham., the mayor of Detroit etc, the California senators and on and on etc.. These guys are ALL so stupid as to not understand that these days EVERYONE, especially people in public office, ALWAYS have a camera and a microphone pointed at them no matter what they are doing and where they are(even at home in bed with their significant or insignificant other.(Especially there). JFK skated by with his peccadilloes with Marilyn etc. only because the technology was not fully developed at his time but some of us remember all too well that Richard Nixon was doomed by TAPES. Tapes that he ordered created. His blind spot was the beginning of the surveillance age and ALL politicians should beware and KNOW what they are opening themselves up to when the “run” for office.
Edward Snowden also gave us a clear message (wake up call) to the extent to which we are ALL watched, tracked, digitized, recorded, photographed etc. Hell one federal agency even has a NEW program out now to identify people by their unique gait AND some colleges and universities make online test takers provide a sample of their keyboarding as identification-yes that too is supposed to be unique to the keyboarder.

Get a clue people-someone is ALWAYS watching and the key to survival is to always assume that you are on camera, microphone etc. 24/7. I hate it but I live by it because it’s the new reality. One adapts or one dies. Or worse one is publicly and irrevocably humiliated. So above all else be careful what you “share”-a new cord word for telling your business to all and sundry and why you should “feel” good about it. i.e. sexting.

One last thing; I’ve lived in San Francisco for many years and within two years of living here was completely disillusioned with the so called liberal progressives, non profit do-gooders, mayoral and other political candidates and last but not least the virulent school board and system which cares NOTHING about our kids education. Most of these “officials” quickly turned out to be mostly phonies, closet racists, thieves and liars with their own agendas. This is based on my personal knowledge and experience. I could name many names but why bother. Yee, Jackson, Shrimp Boy and the others will be replaced by others of their ilk as soon as the smoke clears.

Count on it-it’s human nature

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