DA Launches Criminal Investigation into Mayor Ed Lee's Donors

Categories: Politics
Thumbnail image for Ed Lee Dealer Charlie Powell.jpg
On the bright side, that's fewer thank you notes to write now
District Attorney George Gascón refused to investigate previous accusations of questionable ethics tied to Mayor Ed Lee's campaign. But just 24 hours after early voting started, the DA announced he would investigate allegations of laundered contributions into Lee's mayoral campaign.

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.

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Isaccmetz
Isaccmetz

Ed Lee puts his votes his friends into high positions they're not worthy of and then they promote over deserving people.  It is corrupt in SF and it starts at Department of Public Transportation.  I hope an investigation opens soon and will definitely try to petition for this.Sky 5

wordsalad
wordsalad

Ed Lee's campaign is the sleaziest this town has seen in a long time. The most frightening part of it is that he is such a freaking puppet that he probably doesn't even know half of the sleaze that is being perpetrated on his behalf.  That is not a reassuring trait in a mayor in these challenging times.

s b
s b

Seems like a case of the Janry Maks (http://articles.sfgate.com/200... - ("Mak even got a $500 check from a dishwasher at the Superior Palace restaurant on Balboa Street -- along with checks from three Palace waiters, two Palace waitresses, a line cook, a sous chef, the Palace's manager and the Palace's owners. The restaurant's maitre d' kicked in $300").

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