3 political insiders turn themselves in; SF mayor denies involvement

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says he has no connection to the corruption charges three of his former fundraisers have been charged with. (KGO-TV)

A corruption case involving former San Francisco political insiders is unfolding. The three who were charged on Friday surrendered earlier on Monday.

This all began with a federal probe into the activities of Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow. The mayor told ABC7 News on Monday that he has personally not been contacted by investigators.

Mayor Ed Lee says there is no room for corruption in city government, but the district attorney has charged three of his former fundraisers with felony charges including bribery in exchange for political access.

"If there were individuals who took advantage of that by bribing others, not only did we not know about it, we abhor it," Lee said.

Former human rights commissioner Nazly Mohajer and staffer Zula Jones are accused of accepting $20,000 from an undercover FBI agent and money laundering. Former school board member Keith Jackson is accused of bribery and grand theft.

"When the government is for sale we all suffer," said District Attorney George Gascon at a press conference on Friday.

"I would say there's an air of 'pay to play politics,'" Supervisor John Avalos told ABC7 News on Monday.

Avalos ran against Lee for mayor in 2011and tells ABC7 News he took responsibility after a financial audit of his campaign, and believes the mayor should apologize in this alleged corruption scheme.

"Because he's the one who's at the top of the pyramid," Avalos said.

We asked Lee since these three were doing this on his behalf, according to the charges, if he thought he bears some responsibility in this case.

He replied, "Well, Carolyn, it could happen on anybody's open campaign."

Lee says he ran a clean campaign.

The district attorney says the investigation is ongoing and there could be other charges.

When asked if there was another shoe to drop that involves him, Lee said, "I don't believe there would be."

The mayor has not been charged with any wrong doing.

Click here to see our full coverage on Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow's trial.
Related Topics:
politicspolitical scandalFBIcorruptionsan francisco city hallsan francisco countyed leeinvestigationbriberyfundraiserchinatowngeorge gasconSan FranciscoSan Francisco City Hall
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