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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Airport Shuttle Company Charged with Illegal Contributions to Mayor Ed Lee's Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

click to enlarge Turns out, he never really needed the money
  • Turns out, he never really needed the money

District Attorney George Gascón announced today he is charging Lorrie's Travel & Tours, Inc., better known as GO Lorrie's, with making illegal contributions to Mayor Ed Lee's campaign.

According to the DA's Office, GO Lorrie's donated $11,500 in illegal contributions last September to the Ed Lee for Mayor 2011 campaign committee.  The DA 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.

The defendants allegedly made the illegal contributions by passing it through GO Lorrie's drivers and staff.

"Campaign finance and disclosure laws help to ensure fairness and transparency in our elections," said District Attorney George Gascón, "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."

According to court documents, Perez solicited GO Lorrie's drivers, dispatchers, administrators, and spouses to each write a $500 check to the Ed Lee for Mayor campaign, with the promise that they would be reimbursed, the DA said. 

Perez and Qutami then had the 23 contributors, including Perez and his wife, reimbursed with GO Lorrie's funds. San Francisco campaign finance law limits contributions in municipal elections to $500 per donor and completely prohibits contributions from corporations.California law bars donors from laundering campaign contributions through others to avoid these limitations.

Lee's campaign returned the contributions shortly after the news broke, questioning the contributions.

The defendants are charged with 23 misdemeanors.The defendants are also charged with one count of violating San Francisco campaign laws, including contributing over $500 to a campaign committee in a municipal election, and one count of making a campaign contribution by a corporation in a municipal election.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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