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Lawyer: Former SF Supe Ed Jew ratted on Leland Yee early on

In an exclusive interview, ABC7 News confirmed that another disgraced Bay Area politician ratted on Leland Yee early on.
March 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
State Senator Leland Yee was seen leaving his house in the Sunset District Friday for the first time since he was arrested two days ago. He left quickly in a silver car driven by his son mere hours after his colleagues suspended him.

Lawmakers on Friday kicked out both Yee and two other disgraced senators. The action takes away the senators' powers but not their pay.

The move by the state Senate was unprecedented. Besides Yee, Sens. Ron Calderon of Montebello and Roderick Wright of Inglewood were also suspended.

"I wish that Sens. Yee and Calderon would resign and spare this proud and productive institution and its members the stigma of associating with their alleged actions. Leave please," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento.

Late Friday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in on the conversation, calling on the three to resign from office, saying it is the best way to "restore public confidence."

In a statement released by his office Gov. Brown said that "Given the extraordinary circumstances of these cases - and today's unprecedented suspensions - the best way to restore public confidence is for these Senators to resign."

Yee's attorney released a statement earlier Friday saying, "Suspension is the right step for now, and is appropriate in a system that presumes the innocence of the accused."

Yee's arrest was shocking news to almost everyone except one man -- a former San Francisco supervisor who says he knew exactly what Yee was doing and that he'd been at it for a long time.

Yee was released late Wednesday after making his $500,000 bond. Though he had no court hearing Friday, half a dozen other defendants made brief appearances. That included former Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shimp Boy" Chow and former San Francisco School Board President Keith Jackson, who's now represented by James Brosnahan, a lawyer known for his high profile cases.

One man not surprised by Yee's arrest is lawyer Stu Hanlon.

"Leland Yee was Ed's mentor," defense lawyer Stu Hanlon said. "Ed was brought into the political world by Leland."

Hanlon is talking about his client, disgraced former San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew. He was just released from federal prison after serving nearly five years for extortion and bribery convictions.

Jew says State Sen. Leland Yee has been guilty of the same financial crimes on which he was convicted

"He taught him how to do things," Hanlon said. "And one of the things he taught him was how to raise money with the red envelope and putting pressure on people to give you money."

Hanlon says he sat in on the meetings with federal authorities after his client was arrested; meetings during which Jew voluntarily agreed to tell all about Yee.

"Before he was sentenced he agreed to cooperate with the government and mostly it was about activities with Leland Yee," the attorney said. "The U.S. attorney handling the case decided they weren't interested and I wonder what they would think now."

Hanlon says Jew went into great detail about the way Yee worked and how he demanded money in return for political favors.

"The impression I got was that public service included the way to get money," Hanlon said. "That as a representative of the people, they gave you money, you helped them. That's what he learned from Leland Yee.

Even though Jew served his sentence for the federal conviction, he faces more time in jail on his state conviction for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.

Yee was arrested and booked on public corruption charges which include weapons trafficking and soliciting money in exchange for political favors.


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