On the surface, the story of Leland Yee looks like a precipitous fall from grace.
The 67-year-old had risen steadily in the ranks of Bay Area politics since the late 80s, when he was elected to the San Francisco School Board. He then went on to sit on the city’s Board of Supervisors and in the state Assembly. The latter role saw him become the first Asian American speaker pro tem in 2004, making him the second-highest ranking Democrat in the California assembly at the time.
From 2006 onwards, Yee served as a state senator and was plotting a secretary of state campaign when his political visions were curtailed by a federal indictment in March 2014.
The arrest swept Yee and his associate Keith Jackson, 51, up in charges alongside some of the city’s most notorious characters, notable among them Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
[The wild tale of ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow, notorious Chinatown ex-mobster and now alleged murderer]