State Sen. Yee Makes Brief Court Appearance, Expected To Plead Not Guilty

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Suspended State Sen. Leland Yee briefly appeared in a federal courtroom in San Francisco Monday morning for his bond hearing.

Yee’s attorney Paul DeMeester said he has serious questions about the government’s case against his client, including why it took three years for FBI agents to file charges against Yee when it appeared he had been under investigation since 2011.

DeMeester in particular questioned why the FBI appeared to shift the focus of its probe from a cash-for-influence case to an investigation of alleged connections to international arms dealers.

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The brief and simple hearing arranged the process of Yee’s bail and set an April 8th court date for his preliminary hearing.

Yee entered the courtroom wearing a dark-brown suit and was for the most part stone-faced except for a brief smile directed toward a reporter.

DeMeester told reporters Yee will plead not guilty to the grand jury indictment on charges including gun trafficking and corruption at his next court date.  DeMeester declined to comment on whether Yee, (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), is considering stepping down from his state Senate post.

RAW VIDEO: State Sen. Leland Yee Swarmed By Reporters As He Leaves Courthouse

Another defendant, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, also appeared briefly Monday wearing yellow Alameda County Jail clothing.

After Assistant Federal Public Defender Elizabeth Falk said her office had not yet located a lawyer for Chow, Cousins ordered Chow to return the court of U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero Wednesday for identification of a defense attorney.

Chow, who is being held without bail, is the current leader of San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong organization and was previously convicted of racketeering and drug distribution conspiracy

Falk said last week the federal public defender’s office couldn’t defend Chow due to potential conflicts of interest. She did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Keith Jackson, the former San Francisco school board president, who acted as Yee’s political consultant and is facing murder-for-hire charges, has been court-appointed legendary defense attorney James Brosnahan, as his legal counsel.

Brosnahan was a lead prosecutor in the Iran-Contra trial and successfully defended Patricia Dunn in the Hewlett-Packard spy scandal.


TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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