Crime

Ex-State Sen. Yee Gets Prison Time In Corruption Case

| by Sean Kelly
Leland YeeLeland Yee

Former Democratic State Sen. Leland Yee of California was sentenced to five years in prison for doing political favors in exchange for votes and campaign funds.

Yee, 67, was caught in an FBI sting operation in which he promised votes and weapons to an undercover agent in exchange for campaign contributions. He pleaded guilty to the racketeering charges in 2015.

At his sentencing hearing on Feb. 24, Yee asked District Judge Charles Breyer to be lenient.

"I hope that in your sentencing of me, you will look at my entire life and not just these crimes I have committed," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "In the 67 years of my life, I have devoted much of it to the work of the community, to people here in San Francisco and in the state of California."

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Yee added that his wife was ill at one point and that he needed to provide for her.

Breyer responded by calling Yee "hypocritical."

"It must be that the public has trust in the integrity of the institution, and Mr. Yee, you abused that trust," Breyer said. "You showed you did not have integrity in your actions.”

Yee said he's taken "full responsibility" for the crimes he committed and that they will "haunt" him for the rest of his life, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"The crimes that you committed have resulted in essentially an attack on democratic institutions," Breyer said. "This is a serious, serious injury to a governmental institution."

In addition to the five years in federal prison, Yee was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, the Los Angeles Times notes. He has 30 days until he has to report to prison.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Sarah Rice/The Chronicle via SFGate

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