Charged City Hall insiders turn themselves in
Three San Francisco insiders charged Friday with taking contributions from undercover FBI agents in return for political access and favors have surrendered to the sheriff’s department and could be arraigned later this week.
Former Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer and former Human Rights Commission staffer Zula Jones were both booked by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Monday on four counts of bribery and one count of money laundering, according to jail records. Initial bail was set at $175,000.
Keith Jackson, a former school board member and political consultant, also surrendered today on four counts bribery, one count of money laundering and one count of grand theft of public money.
Jackson has already paid his bail of $208,000 and been released from custody, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Eileen Hirst.
No court date has been set, but district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said it was likely the trio would be arraigned later this week.
District Attorney George Gascon announced the charges against Mohajer, Jones and Jackson on Friday, but said only that they came from a federal investigation.
Jackson was previously named in a 2014 federal indictment along with convicted Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow for participating in a criminal conspiracy to help retire former state Sen.
Leland Yee’s campaign debt. Yee and Jackson both pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges last year and are scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Feb. 10.
Jones and Mohajer were implicated last year by Chow’s attorneys, who alleged that they were taking money from FBI agents investigating Chow on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee. Prosecutors allege that they solicited and accepted $20,000 in bribes in exchange for political access and preferential treatment in city contracts.
Lee, who Chow’s defense attorneys claimed had met with undercover FBI agents posing as campaign contributors, has not been charged by federal or local prosecutors. He has denied wrongdoing and issued a statement Friday saying he “strongly condemned” the alleged criminal activities.
Jones and Mohajer face more than 7 years in prison if convicted and Jackson could face more than 11 years if convicted.