Senator Leland Yee was reportedly arrested and charged with bribery and corruption. Witnesses said the senator was escorted out of San Francisco’s Federal Building in handcuffs. Yee is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 pm.
The arrest was part of an FBI crime sweep, currently taking place throughout the Bay Area. In addition to the senator, authorities have arrested numerous members of a suspected gang. As reported by ABC News, search warrants were executed at the Ghee Kung Tong Free Masons office and several other Chinatown locations.
In addition to the senator, this morning’s arrests include notorious gang member Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
Yee and his family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. The son of a US Army Veteran, the senator was raised in San Francisco.
He received a University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree from San Francisco State University, and a doctorate from the University of Hawaii.
Leland Yee got his start in politics as a member of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. He soon moved on to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and later served in the California State Assembly for four years.
Senator Leland Yee was elected to the California Senate in November 2006, becoming the first Chinese American to take office. He currently serves District 8, which includes San Mateo County and San Francisco. He is well-respected for his dedication to civil rights, working families, children, and senior citizens.
Throughout his career he has introduced 138 bills, which were signed into law. Yee’s commitment to the community has led to honors, including awards from the National Education Association, Equality California, and Environment California.
The senator is known by numerous nicknames, including the “Labor Warrior” and “Senator Sunshine.” Although Yee has enjoyed an admirable career, his arrest threatens to overshadow his prior success.
KCRA News reports that armed law enforcement officials are currently stationed outside Yee’s office. Agents confirmed they are collecting documents, computers, and records, which are expected to assist in their investigation.
Although the extent of the charges is unknown, authorities confirmed Senator Yee was arrested for bribery and corruption. It can only be assumed that authorities believe the senator is affiliated with Raymond Chow.
Chow is a known gang member, with prior affiliations to the Wo Hop To and Hop Sing Boys. Chow spent years in prison for his gang activity. However, he later testified against his former associates.
Authorities have not discussed the details of the crime sweep or Senator Leland Yee’s arrest.
[Image via Bay Citizen]