A potentially damning new filing on behalf of Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow in federal court today says that, in discovery, the defense found that the prosecution had significant evidence of corruption by multiple officials in city and state government, including Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor London Breed, an Alameda County prosecutor, and NACCP president (and former supervisor) Rev. Amos Brown. The filing seeks to get the case against Chow dismissed as one of selective prosecution, given that no charges have been brought against any of these officials who were ensnared in the FBI's probe which apparently involved wiretaps, body wires, phone taps, agents, and multiple sources over several years, as the Examiner reports.
The probe has already taken down former State Senator Leland Yee, who pleaded guilty last month to federal charges of corruption and firearm trafficking; and it's taken down former school board member Keith Jackson, who also pleaded guilty simultaneously.
Representatives for Mayor Lee not to mention Chow's own lawyers, and the Chronicle's Debra Saunders have sought to dismiss any associations that have been made in the case to the mayor, calling this a fishing expedition not unlike the famed Abscam scandal that was portrayed in American Hustle. Mayoral spokesperson Tony Winnicker said back in July 2014 that any details about campaign contributions to Mayor Lee from undercover agents that had some "pay to play" attached to them were "news to him."
But the damning new stuff in the latest filing includes quotes about Lee from Human Rights Commission staffer Zula Jones, who allegedly said Lee learned from the best (former Mayor Willie Brown), and she explicitly said, perhaps on a wiretap, "You got to pay to play here. We got it. We know this. We are the best at this game, uh, better than New York. We do it a little more sophisticated that New Yorkers. We do it without the mafia."
Supervisor Breed is also named as someone who's open to "pay to play" donations, and the filing quotes a source who spoke to local businessman Derf Butler, who said he "pays Supervisor Breed with untraceable debit cards for clothing and trips in exchange for advantages on contracts in San Francisco."
And Rev. Amos Brown, whose name came up last week in connection with that Section 8 project built by his Third Baptist Church that now seems under threat, is also mentioned, saying he got home repairs done on his own house by former Housing Authority head Henry Alvarez in exchange for some favor.
Brown denies the claim, and Breed dismisses all of it saying that the feds' probe "unfairly focused on black leaders," and she says, "I can say without a doubt that I didn’t take anything from anybody."
Read the entire filing here, but here's another choice, disturbing tidbit regarding SF MTA manager Sululagi Palega.
Sululagi Palega, a director of the MTA, formed a bond with UCE 4599. During a meeting at Waterbar Restaurant on the Embarcadero, Palega agreed to provide numerous weapons to the undercover agent so that the agent could protected his illegal narcotics business. Palega sold at least one firearm to the man who the FBI claims was allegedly an Italian Mafioso. Prior to the sale taking place, Palega used a City of San Francisco car to come and go from a meeting at Town Hall with UCE 4599 at which Palega provided an update on his ability to procure assault rifles, hand grenades, and ammunition.21 He handed the UCE a Sees Candy box with a gun in it and said “Enjoy the candy.”22 He remains unindicted.
Shrimp Boy's trial had been set to begin jury selection on October 19, but it remains to be seen if this latest filing will change that.
Update: Supervisor and Board President London Breed issued a statement taking special offense to a sentence in the filing in which attorneys for Shrimp Boy wrote, "London Breed... is a supervisor in a district where young children join gangs and are murdered before they can ever ‘pay to play.’ "
She insists the claims made about her are "baseless," and says, "The only thing I’ve learned from this sad episode is that you should be very skeptical of what you read in the news, especially when it comes from an accused felon looking for anyone but himself to blame."