As you most likely remember, ten days ago the District Attorney's Office indicted three local politicos on varying corruption and bribery related charges allegedly tied to efforts to retire Mayor Ed Lee's campaign debt in exchange for influence in City Hall. In an odd update, we learn today that the prosecutor in the case requested this past Friday that evidence against the three be kept secret from the public.
This request is an unusual one, reports the Chronicle, and Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose office is representing one of the suspects, explained the situation to reporters.
“It’s extremely unusual for the prosecution to ask for essentially a gag order in a case where much of the evidence has already been made known,” the paper reports him as saying on Friday.
Charges were brought against Nazly Mohajer, Zula Mae Jones, and Keith Jackson, after a FBI probe into Chinatown racketeering and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow turned up evidence of alleged wrongdoing by the three, following already ensnaring former state senator Leland Yee.
Keith Jackson, a political consultant, was charged with money laundering, grand theft, and bribery. Both Jones and Mohajer, who served on the Human Rights Commission, were charged with felony bribery and money laundering.
The Chronicle reports that Assistant District Attorney Kelly Burke asked for a protective order that would prohibit the defense team from making any information they receive from the prosecuting team public. And what information could that be? Could it possibly speak to more charges coming down the pipeline at some point in the future?
Well, we don't know, as the paper notes that Burke didn't say why she wanted the protective order. We do know one thing, however — Adachi intends to fight the request.