Ex-Kim Aide Describes Illegal Donations

A former campaign aide to Rep. Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar) testified Thursday that the campaign treasurer accepted thousands of dollars in illegal cash and corporate contributions at a series of fund-raisers, then failed to report them.

Taking the stand in the trial of former treasurer Seokuk Ma, aide Jane Chong said Ma objected when she tried to tell supporters at a fund-raiser at a Hacienda Heights golf course that the campaign could not legally accept cash.

“We’re not turning people away if they have cash,” she quoted Ma as saying.

Defense lawyers tried to cast doubt on the credibility of the witness, noting that Chong had overpaid herself about $3,500 when she worked for the campaign, and that she fabricated some contributors’ employment information on campaign reports.


Assistant U.S. Atty. Richard Drooyan presented four witnesses, all business owners who testified that they wrote corporate checks to Kim’s campaign in 1994, including a cosmetics company owner who said Ma pressured her not to testify about her donation in front of a grand jury last year. Corporate contributions are illegal.