Instead of retiring, a former Democrat mayor decided to push it and get back in the game with some big promises… but the law was waiting for him.
Leland Yee, 67, lost his San Francisco mayoral race and then decided to try to become the California secretary of state. Desperate for campaign funds, Yee promised guns and votes to criminals and got caught in the middle of an FBI sting operation, via the LA Times.
FBI agents recorded Yee promising both votes and weapons to various people who could funnel campaign money to him. Rather than face the public at trial, Yee pleaded guilty to his crimes last year.
Yee was recorded promising an undercover federal agent an illegal gun shipment in exchange for money. In public, the liberal politician had always showcased himself as a staunch gun control advocate.
Last week, after years spent as a public office holder, Leland Yee took up residence in a jail cell. The judge could have given him a lighter sentence, but he took selling votes very seriously and made an example of the Democrat.
Yee essentially begged U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to go easy on him during his sentencing hearing. The former career politician said he was taking responsibility for his crimes and fully realized he had brought shame upon himself, his family, and his long-time supporters.
“That will always weigh on me. And that will always haunt me for the rest of my life,” Yee said, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
The “I did it, I’m sorry” defense doesn’t work with ill-behaved children OR crooked politicians. If admitting wrongdoing and then saying you have shamed yourself is all that is required to stay out of prison, tens of thousands of corrections officers would be out of work.
Yee tried to get the judge to take pity on him because he had a severely ill wife who needed him to take care of her. Perhaps he should have thought about that before his power-hungry nature turned him into a common criminal. He also tried to get the judge to “look at [his] entire life and not just these crimes [he had] committed.”
Judge Breyer was not in a forgiving mood, and he saw right through Yee’s self-serving facade. The judge said Yee had been “hypocritical” and deemed his actions “vile.”
During the sentencing, the judge made it very clear Yee violated the public’s trust and that is something that is just not acceptable… and now he is paying for it!