Gascón Charges Lee Campaign Donors

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Tagged: , ,

Published on February 15, 2012 with 4 Comments

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

February 15, 2012

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced yesterday the filing of criminal misdemeanor charges against a shuttle service company and two of its employees for making illegal contributions to the Ed Lee for Mayor campaign.

Go Lorrie’s Travel & Tours, Inc., better known as GO Lorrie’s, is charged with making $11,500 in illegal contributions last September to the Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 campaign committee. Also charged are Jason Perez, 40, of San Mateo, the company’s general manager, and Hanan Qutami, 56, of South San Francisco, the company’s chief financial officer.

It is illegal for donors to channel campaign money through others with the intent of sidestepping contribution limits.  According to Gascón, twenty-three individuals including Go Lorrie’s drivers, their spouses, administrators and dispatchers, were solicited by Perez to donate $500 each, the maximum amount allowed by law, to the Ed Lee for mayor campaign.

The contributions were made shortly after airport officials reversed a policy decision to modify curbside parking rules that would have provided all shuttle companies equal access to airport passengers seeking shuttles.

“Campaign finance and disclosure laws help to ensure fairness and transparency in our elections,” Gascón said, “and my office takes the violation of these laws very seriously. After a thorough investigation, we have found clear evidence to charge Go Lorrie’s and two of its employees with making illegal campaign contributions.”

The Ed Lee campaign, which has not been implicated in the money laundering scandal, returned the contributions shortly after The Bay Citizen first reported the contributions, October 6, 2011.

Lee spokesperson Christine Falvey said the mayor “appreciates the district attorney’s thorough investigation and expects anyone who knowingly breaks the law to be held fully accountable.”

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro Ann Garrison

    Hey hey ho ho . . .

  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro Ann Garrison

    One down, how many more to go?

  • chard

    Low-hanging fruit, I’d say.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro Ann Garrison

    Yes, so far.