Friday, April 15, 2005

My State Senator is a Crook

I've always suspected something fishy about the poker and card club rooms that dot the area around Alameda. They're everywhere, and yet whenever a group tries to open a real casino in the area, the opposition is enough to stop them cold. Well, it turns out the card clubs have someone very powerful on their side: State Senate Leader Don Perata (D). And now, the FBI is looking into allegations that Perata steered anti-casino lobbying money to his business partner. The local rag SF Chronicle reports:

The FBI has expanded its investigation of state Senate leader Don Perata in recent weeks, interviewing current and former members of his staff as well as lawyers and lobbyists for Bay Area card clubs that hired Perata's business partner at the senator's suggestion, five people with knowledge of the inquiry said.

Federal agents are investigating Perata's financial relationship with the partner, Timothy G. Staples, and whether the Oakland lawmaker received any of the card-club money that went to Staples, according to people familiar with the probe who agreed to speak on the condition they not be identified.

The agents' questions also centered on how and why the four card clubs came to hire Staples, though the card clubs do not appear to be a target of the investigation, these sources said.

The FBI's latest inquiries are just two fronts in a wide-ranging investigation of Perata that was begun in November. The bureau is examining Perata's personal business relationships with a number of relatives and associates, and investigating whether he wielded influence as a top state official in exchange for personal income. Perata has denied wrongdoing.
Congratulations are in order to SF Chronicle "reporter" Christian Berthelsen who made it through the entire article without attaching party affiliation to Perata, who is of course, a Democrat. Liberal bias in the media, anyone?


At 5:23 AM, Blogger ciscoblog said...

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