POLITICS

Leland Yee Withdrawing From California Secretary Of State Race Following Arrest

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has been charged with public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has been charged with public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the Bay Area, law-enforcement sources said, casting yet another cloud of corruption over the Democratic establishment in the Legislature and torpedoing Yee's aspirations for statewide office.ÊHere, Yee speaks to members of the press in Sacramento, Calif., in this Feb. 14, 2013, file photo. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)

California state Sen. Leland Yee (D) is withdrawing from the secretary of state race following his arrest on public corruption charges, the embattled lawmaker's lawyer announced Thursday.

At a Thursday news conference, Yee attorney Paul DeMeester declined to say whether his client will resign from his post in the legislature.

"This was a very personal decision on the part of the senator," DeMeester said of Yee's decision to leave the race. "This is what he wanted to do."

Yee, who represents parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties, was arrested Wednesday as federal and local law enforcement agents raided a number of offices in the area and made several arrests. The state senator was later released on bail. In total, 26 defendants were charged in the federal criminal complaint, including Yee and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who has long been linked to gangs in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The state senator was charged on one count of conspiracy to illegally traffic firearms and six counts of depriving the public of honest services. According to Yee's attorney, the lawmaker will plead not guilty to the charges.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Yee had raised $800,000 toward his bid for higher office. Campaign filing records indicate that Yee had spent all but $134,000 of that money.

View Yee's withdrawal letter below:

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