Yee Wants Corruption Trial Delayed

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Attorneys for suspended state Sen. Leland Yee want to delay his trial for political corruption and racketeering charges, but a federal judge said Thursday that he has a “strong inclination” to stick to June.
     Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, was indicted in April 2014 on charges of accepting campaign contributions in return for favors, and offering to sales of guns from the Philippines. Additional charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering were added in January. He has pleaded not guilty.
     Yee was one of more than two dozen defendants in the wide-ranging indictment.
     The case has been broken up, with the first trial focusing on charges against Yee, his political consultant Keith Jackson, Jackson’s son Brandon Jackson, and former sports agent Marlon Sullivan.
     All four appeared in court Thursday for a status hearing. Yee and Keith Jackson are free on bail, while Brandon Jackson and Sullivan are in custody.
     Yee’s attorney James Lassart said in a court filing Tuesday that he wants to push the trial back until at least mid-August, because he is starting another trial scheduled to last until mid-April.
     Keith Jackson’s attorney James Brosnahan also said that the trial should be moved back, because “among other things, the government has delayed the production of discovery, which is not yet complete.”
     But U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer has said he’d like to put the case on a speedier path to trial, and scheduled jury selection for early June, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
     In the Thursday hearing Breyer said: “The court certainly has a strong inclination that the case proceed as scheduled on June 22. Nevertheless, it has to take into account what are the practical considerations for time and preparation.”
     Breyer also decided to include the charges for money laundering against Yee and Keith Jackson in the first trial. Keith Jackson’s attorney says he intends to file a motion to dismiss those charges.
     Contact Arvin Temkar at sanfran@courthousenews.com

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