Frisco Fundraiser Evidence Kept Sealed

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Evidence against three San Francisco city officials accused of bribery will remain under seal at the request of prosecutors, a judge said Tuesday.
     Ruling from the bench, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Edward Torpoco granted a motion sealing details of a federal investigation that led to the arrest of former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson, Human Rights Commission staffer Zula Jones and Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer in January.
     Jones and Mohajer have been charged with four counts of bribery and one count of money laundering each. Prosecutors say they took $20,000 in exchange for giving lucrative city contracts to an FBI agent posing as a Mafia-connected businessman.
     Jackson faces the same charges as well as one count of grand theft of public funds and six misdemeanor counts of campaign finance fraud.
     The charges stem from the federal government’s racketeering case against Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, whom a federal jury in January convicted of money laundering, racketeering, ordering a murder and conspiring to murder another gang rival.
     The Chow investigation also ensnared former state Sen. Leland Yee and Jackson, who was Yee’s consultant.
     Jackson and Yee each pleaded guilty to one county of felony racketeering for accepting campaign donations from undercover FBI agents in exchange for political favors.
     Jackson is currently serving a nine-year sentence in Lompoc and was not in court Tuesday, but Mojaher and Jones were present with their attorneys.
     Jones and Mohajer were not defendants in the federal case, but their names surfaced in a motion to dismiss filed by Chow’s lawyers in which they claimed the government had unfairly targeted Chow but ignored FBI wiretap evidence and allowed San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to get away with taking bribes hustled by Jackson, Mojaher and Jones.
     Lee has not been charged with any crimes, and denies any wrongdoing.
     U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer had placed a gag order on the wiretaps to protect the identity of the agent involved, but in March he issued a one-sentence ruling saying the state court was not bound by that order.
     Jones’ lawyer John Keker told Torpoco that he will appeal the protective order.
     All three politicos have yet to enter a plea, as their lawyers continue to fight with prosecutors over the evidence against them. They are due back in court on July 20.

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