Phil Matier: SFO Shuttle Co. Charged With Illegal Donations To Mayor Lee Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Officials at a San Francisco International Airport shuttle bus company are being charged with making more than $11,000 in illegal contributions to Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign.

According to the charges, Lorries’ Travel and Tours General Manager Jason Perez and Chief Financial Officer Hanan Qutami instructed 23 company employees to each make a $500 contribution to Lee’s campaign. The employees were then reportedly reimbursed from company funds.

KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

San Francisco campaign finance law limits contributions to $500 per donor, and prohibits campaign contributions from corporations altogether. California law prohibits donors from laundering campaign contributions through others.

”What they did, at least according to the district attorney, is that the managers had the workers cut checks for the mayor for $500 and then would reimburse them,” said KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier.

Perez and Qutami each face 25 counts of misdemeanor campaign finance violations.

Lee’s mayoral rivals raised the issue last fall during the campaign, prompting Lee’s campaign to return the money.

”This came to light because during the campaign finance reports reporters were going through files and found driver after driver giving $500 to Ed Lee, and that just set off trip bells because – what’s a driver doing giving $500?” said Matier.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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