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Lt. Gov. Newsom joins calls for Yee's resignation

The political fallout continues after the arrest of state Senator Leland Yee, accused of gun running and political corruption.
March 30, 2014 11:09:20 AM PDT
The political fallout continues after the arrest of state Senator Leland Yee, accused by the federal government of an elaborate conspiracy involving illegal gun running and political corruption.

Yee is scheduled to be back in court Monday and on Saturday, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined other lawmakers calling for Yee's resignation, adding his voice to the growing chorus of politicians calling on the senator to step down.

"I think the senator should resign, for the benefit of not only himself to focus on his own problems, but the entire institution," Newsom said.

That "institution" is the California State Senate, which has been rattled by the high-profile arrest of Yee. On Friday, colleagues voted to suspend him along with two other state senators -- each on unrelated charges.

Newsom has known Yee for years. They served as San Francisco supervisors before Newsom became mayor. He says Yee's arrest is a shock. "This is an exception. This is not the rule. But fundamentally, this is a sad day for all of us because it's all about public trust," Newsome said.

The FBI investigation that unraveled Yee's ties to Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow started three years ago when agents were trying to infiltrate Chow's Chinatown entanglements. The former gangster was well known at high-profile events, even posting a photo of he and Newsom on Facebook, a photo Newsom laughed off.

"Honestly as mayor, you'll probably take 400 photos in any particular night. You do that for 17 years in local politics, there are going to be a few folks, not just the one in question, that you go, 'Boy I really wish I didn't have that picture," Newsom said.

Yee is expected in federal court Monday.


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