SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has called on state Sen. and secretary of state candidate Leland Yee to resign his position immediately following a raid on Wednesday.
“I want to call on Sen. Yee to resign. Leave. Don’t burden your colleagues in this great institution with your troubles. Leave,” Steinberg said.
Federal officials are accusing Yee of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud.
The allegations against State Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against Yee and 25 other people. The affidavit was unsealed Wednesday, as Yee was scheduled to appear in court.
RAW: Steinberg Press Conference On Sen. Leland Yee Arrrest
Steinberg led a fiery press conference surrounded by state senators denouncing Yee’s arrest on Wednesday.
“We express our anger and our revulsion at today’s events,” Steinberg said. “We recognize that under the law, anyone accused of a crime is considered innocent. until proven guilty. Nonetheless this indictment is sickening.”
Steinberg called the accusations against Yee “surreal.”
“I’m angry on behalf of the people, and I’m angry on behalf of the 37 other members whose hard work on behalf of the people is being tarnished because of events outside of their control.”
Yee’s arrest is the third black eye for the state Senate in the past year.
State Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted of voter fraud, but has yet to be sentenced. Steinberg preferred to wait until Wright’s sentencing to take action against him, despite Republican efforts to have him removed from the Senate.
State Sen. Ron Calderon‘s office was raided last year, and he was indicted with his brother on corruption charges. His case is ongoing, but he has been removed from responsibilities in the Senate, and like Wright is on paid leave.
“We have two choices here. We can either lay our heads down, or we can hold our heads high,” Steinberg said. “And all of us here … intend to hold our heads high, because we are going to do everything in our power to uphold the integrity of the Senate, and yes, to have a great and productive year.”
Steinberg said he’s disappointed this has come during what he says has been the most productive three years in the modern state legislature.