By Michael G. Stogner
Former Senator Leland Yee was released yesterday.
Leland Yin Yee (Chinese: 余胤良; pinyin: Yú Yìnliáng, born November 20, 1948) is a convicted felon and former Democratic California State Senator for District 8, which when he was elected, covered parts of San Francisco and the Peninsula. In 2015, Yee pleaded guilty to felony racketeering charges for money laundering, public corruption, gun trafficking, and bribery.
Prior to becoming state senator, Yee was a California State Assemblyman, Supervisor of San Francisco’s Sunset District, and was a member and President of the San Francisco School Board. In 2004 Yee became the first Asian American to be appointed Speaker pro Tempore, making him the second highest ranking Democrat of the California State Assembly.
Yee was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 26, 2014 on charges related to public corruption and gun trafficking — specifically buying automatic firearms and shoulder-launched missiles from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an Islamist extremist group located in the southern Philippines and attempting to re-sell those weapons to an undercover FBI agent, as well as accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover agent in exchange for placing a call to the California Department of Public Health regarding a contract at the organization.
In response to the gun running and other criminal charges against him, the California State Senate suspended Yee as a Senator on March 28, 2014. On July 1, 2015, Yee pleaded guilty to a felony racketeering count in relation to money laundering, public corruption and bribery in a San Francisco Chinatown organized crime case. On February 24, 2016, Yee was sentenced to five years in federal prison. As of February 7, 2020, Yee is incarcerated at Sacramento RRM and is slated for release on June 6th 2020.
According to his 2008 Smart Voter Information below: San Mateo County Supervisor David J. Canepa was Legislative Aide to Senator Leland Yee. David Canepa worked for Leland Yee for several years, first while Yee was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He does not list that on his Bio.