Three prominent state and city Democratic politicians were hit with allegations of political corruption on Wednesday.
It began around 6 a.m. PT when FBI agents arrested California state Sen. Leland Yee. A spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco, confirmed the arrest of Yee, who is running for secretary of state, in connection with a federal investigation targeting Raymond “Shrimpboy” Chow. In a statement about the case issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California late Wednesday Chow was described as “the current Dragonhead, or leader, of the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong” organisation.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement, one of Yee’s fundraisers, Keith Jackson, worked as a consultant for the Chee Kung Tong and the criminal complaint alleged Yee and Jackson raised campaign funds by taking bribes. Yee’s press secretary declined to comment on the arrest when reached by Business Insider Wednesday afternoon.
“The complaint alleges that over the course of 2012 and continuing to the present time, Yee and Keith Jackson allegedly raised money and campaign funds for Yee’s Secretary of State campaign by soliciting donations from FBI undercover agents, in exchange for multiple official acts, and that Yee and Jackson were involved in a conspiracy to traffic firearms,” the U.S. Attorney’s statement said.
Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney’s statement alleged Yee allegedly boasted of having “a contact who deals in arms trafficking” and promised to facilitate a meeting between the arms dealer and an undercover agent posing as a gun buyer.
Later Wednesday morning, FBI agents searched and raided the office of New York Assemblyman Bill Scarborough. Scarborough subsequently told reporters agents questioned him at an Albany hotel where he was staying and “took just about everything” from his office.
“The FBI conducted searches today of the Albany and New York City Offices of New York State Assemblyman William Scarborough,” Paul Holstein, an FBI spokesman in Albany, told Business Insider. “At this time, no further information is bring released.”
According to the Times Union newspaper, the investigation into Scarborough focused on his use of travel vouchers given to legislators to cover expenses incurred while travelling to the New York State Capitol in Albany. Scarborough told reporters he is “innocent.”
Wednesday’s final corruption scandal came in the afternoon when the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina announced Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon had been arrested and charged with “theft and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, honest services wire fraud, and extortion under colour of official right.” Cannon was elected as mayor last year and assumed office in December.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court Wednesday accused Cannon of participating in scheme to collect bribes using a “feminine hygiene product” and promising to press President Barack Obama about issues that were important to people who gave him bribes. A spokeswoman for Cannon declined to comment on the case when Business Insider called his office Wednesday.
Prior to their arrests. Yee and Cannon were rising stars in the Democratic Party and appeared to be gunning for brighter political futures.
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