Yee Suspended from State Senate

Tim Bartel|

The California Senate voted on a resolution today to suspend three Democrat senators including Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who was arrested Wednesday by the FBI on a corruption case of accepting bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for coordinating an international gun smuggling operation.

Charges against Yee include conspiracy to deal firearms without a license, conspiracy to illegally transport firearms, six counts of a scheme to defraud citizens using his services, and wire fraud.

The other two State Sens. to be suspended are Ron Calderon and Rod Wright, who are also facing federal charges.

Yee had ties to California State University Stanislaus, as in 2010 he championed the California Public Records Act release of a $75,000 speaking contract between the university foundation and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Palin spoke at CSU Stanislaus’s 50th Anniversary Gala.

TurlockCityNews.com reported on May 12, 2010 that Yee was chair of the Select Committee on Open Meetings and Public Record Laws, and requested nearly 900 documents regarding the Palin visit via the Public Records Act. A media uproar ensued when Yee announced that he believed the documents proved university officials had violated the California Public Records Act by not disclosing documents requested.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says that a 40-member chamber made the decision to act after Yee was indicted on federal charges.

“Leave please,” he said. “We’ve made that request and apparently they will not.”

Even though all three senators have been suspended they will still receive their $95,000 annual pay.

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