State Senate Votes to Suspend Yee, With Pay

As part of the resolution, Yee is suspended from his office until his criminal case has been resolved.

State Sen. Leland Yee was released from custody as reporters surrounded him..
State Sen. Leland Yee was released from custody as reporters surrounded him..
By Bay City News Service:

The state Senate passed a resolution Friday morning to suspend state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, after a federal criminal complaint was unsealed Wednesday revealing that he allegedly was accepting bribes for campaign donations and scheming to bring illegal guns into the country. 

Two Southern California state senators, Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, and Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, were also suspended by the 28-1 vote for alleged crimes involving perjury and corruption, respectively. 

Wright and Calderon have been on paid leaves of absence since earlier this year. 

Friday morning's vote came after Yee's arrest Wednesday on fraud and weapons charges. 

While suspended, Yee will still be paid his annual salary. He is out of federal custody on $500,000 bail. 

On the senate floor Friday morning, Steinberg said he wished the disgraced senators would resign and spare the legislature "the stigma associated with their alleged actions." 

"Leave please," he said. "We've made that request and apparently they will not." 

Yee withdrew his candidacy for California Secretary of State Thursday. 

In a statement released after the suspension vote, his attorney Paul DeMeester said, "Suspension is the right step for now, and is appropriate in a system that presumes the innocence of the accused." 

Steinberg said under the resolution Yee and the others "cannot serve another day in this senate going forward unless they are exonerated." 

Steinberg said he was changing his position on placing Calderon and Wright on leaves of absence. 

"After Wednesday's events I recognize that is no longer sufficient," he said. 

Steinberg said the actions of the three senators bring forth questions on "senate culture" and he called for an ethics review to be held in each office on April 7. 

"We must do more here in the Senate," and he called for each office to "take stock." 

The senate leader said despite required ethics training, "there are some things you just can't teach...I know of no ethics class that teaches about the dangers of gun running and other such sordid activities." 

As part of the resolution, Yee is suspended from his office until his criminal case has been resolved. 

Yee is charged with one count of weapons trafficking scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services by allegedly soliciting and accepting campaign contributions in a federal criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday. 

He is one of 26 defendants named in the complaint, which also includes notorious San Francisco gang leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson, who is implicated in a planned murder-for-hire scheme. 

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
Karen Smith March 31, 2014 at 09:36 AM
WITH PAY? sheesh! suspend him without pay and reimburse him if he's found not guilty. what's wrong with you people?
Rebecca Lorenz March 31, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Wow. I'm pretty sure most of us would lose our jobs or be suspended without pay if the FBI arrested us.
theresedyer1932@gmail.com April 02, 2014 at 12:20 AM
This is just the tip of the iceberg,the whole system is so corrupt,how did he get away with it for 20years? San Mateo is the most corrupt County in California, I ought to know I was and still am a victim. Lawyer have a license to steal from their clients and then they become Judges. That's where it starts and then all the so called Public Servants cover up including the FBI,So I'm really surprised they arrested him. We keep telling other countries how to live,but if this is Democracy, What Country would go for it
Hutch April 02, 2014 at 01:02 AM
You got that straight Therese. The whole system is broke and us poor slobs pay for all the corruption. The need to seriously stop public unions, lobbyists and special interests from buying off politicians. No more personal gifts either. The tax payers end up getting screwed. I wrote Jerry Hill about it but I guess he's too busy to write back. Maybe you'll have better luck:Senator.Hill@senate.ca.gov
theresedyer1932@gmail.com April 25, 2014 at 11:07 PM
If all of you attend the Op[en house May 1st at Jerry Hill's office along with mullins,it might make a difference. I uruge you to make the effort,the more the merrier


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