3 San Francisco city officials may face trial on corruption charges

Thursday, August 3, 2017
3 SF city officials may face trial on corruption charges
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First a Chinatown gangster dubbed Shrimp Boy and state Senator Leland Yee were both nabbed in a federal corruption sting. Now three others who were also targets of that undercover operation may be going to trial on corruption charges.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- First a Chinatown gangster dubbed Shrimp Boy and state Senator Leland Yee were both nabbed in a federal corruption sting. Now three others who were also targets of that undercover operation may be going to trial on corruption charges.

That's exactly what the judge in this case has to decide - whether or not there's enough evidence and probable cause to go to trial. The three are accused of four counts of bribery and one count of money laundering. All three were high profile city officials.

The three defendants are former city Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer, former commission staffer Zula Jones and former San Francisco school board President Keith Jackson.

Jackson is currently in prison, having already been convicted in federal court on racketeering charges along with Yee.

RELATED: San Francisco Chinatown gang leader gets life in prison

All three are charged with soliciting bribes in campaign contributions from an undercover FBI agent and then laundering the money.

The agent posed as a businessman wanting access to Mayor Ed Lee.

"Bribery and money laundering," said SF district attorney spokesperson Max Szabo. "We take such allegations incredibly seriously, especially when you have city officials who have alleged to have been involved in such a scheme."

RELATED: Former state senator Leland Yee sentenced to 5 years in corruption case

The prosecution's evidence comes from wiretaps collected in the federal case against Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who was convicted last year on charges ranging from murder to money laundering. He is now serving a life sentence.

At the hearing, attorneys for the three defendants argued that the secretly recorded conversations with the undercover agent were simply banter and were not to be taken seriously.

They've also previously questioned the credibility of the FBI agent.

RELATED: ABC7 News interviews Raymond 'Shrimp Boy Chow in jail

Judge Tracie Brown said at the end of Wednesday's hearing, she would need more time to decide whether the case would go to trial.

Outside the courtroom, defense attorney John Keker would say only this, "We're hoping and expecting justice to be done."

Neither Mohajer nor Jones would comment.

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