DA Launches Criminal Investigation into Mayor Ed Lee's Donors
|On the bright side, that's fewer thank you notes to write now|
The DA did not say much more other than "it's premature to form opinions or rush to judgment until an investigation is complete."
The investigation will look into whether Lee's donors laundered money for his campaign through business associates as a way to sidestep campaign contribution limits.
The Bay Citizen broke the story last week, reporting that Lee's donors may have colluded with the manager of GO Lorrie's, a shuttle company at SFO, who solicited as much as $8,000 in campaign contributions from employees. Sixteen of the company's employees donated $500 -- the campaign cap -- to Lee's campaign after being told they would be reimbursed by their company, according to the newspaper.
Tony Winnicker, spokesman for Lee's campaign, told us today that the mayor has already returned 23 contributions in connection to GO Lorrie's.
"Last week, at Mayor Lee's direction, our campaign contacted the District Attorney to offer our full assistance in any investigation and that assistance will continue. Mayor Lee has zero tolerance for anyone who breaks the law and demands 100 percent compliance from his campaign and anyone who supports it," Winnicker said.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who is also running for San Francisco mayor, last week fired off a letter to the DA and General Attorney Kamala Harris asking for an investigation into these contributions. Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission launched its own investigation into the questionable campaign contributions.
Herrera, Lee's biggest rival in the campaign, issued a measured response to the DA's announcement. "We have every confidence that the District Attorney will get to the bottom of this," says Matt Dorsey, Herrera's campaign spokesman.
Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF