State Sen. Leland Yee pleads not guilty in corruption case

SAN FRANCISCO -- State Sen. Leland Yee on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all charges stemming from a political-corruption and organized-crime probe, according to multiple local news outlets.

Yee, 65, who has been suspended with pay, was arrested last month with two dozen others in connection with a broad sweep targeting alleged organized crime and political corruption in San Francisco.


A grand jury released indictments against the men last week.

Yee faces a gun-trafficking charge and multiple counts of depriving the public of honest services.

Keith Jackson, a San Francisco political consultant and former member of the San Francisco Board of Education who raised money for Yee's campaigns, also pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court. The charges against him allege corruption, firearms trafficking and participation in a plot to hire someone to carry out a murder.

Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, a felon who headed the Ghee Kung Ton, a Freemason organization in San Francisco's Chinatown, did not enter a plea to charges of money laundering, conspiring to receive stolen property and trafficking in contraband cigarettes, but he has professed his innocence through his defense team. His criminal history includes racketeering and robbery counts.

Chow has added legendary Bay Area trial lawyer J. Tony Serra, portrayed in the 1989 movie "True Believer," to his criminal defense team. Jackson worked as a consultant for Chow.

"True Believer" was based on the story of a San Francisco Chinatown murder case in which Serra won an acquittal for the defendant.

[For The Record, 12:11 p.m. April 8 : An earlier version of this post stated that state Sen. Leland Yee was suspended without pay. He is still being paid.]

Twitter: @leeromney