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.”