A former district attorney candidate and Alameda County assistant district attorney was put on administrative leave Thursday following allegations first reported in the San Francisco Examiner that she laundered campaign funds with former state Senator Leland Yee.
Sharmin Bock was put on administrative leave by the Alameda County’s district attorney Thursday, said public relations strategist Sam Singer, who is representing her in the matter.
Bock ran unsuccessfully for San Francisco district attorney in 2011.
“The Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley placed Sharmin Bock on administrative leave, I believe that started yesterday. That was not unexpected given the false allegations against her,” said Singer.
“Mrs. Bock is fully expected to be cleared of these false, reckless and defamatory allegations by Mr. Chow’s attorneys,” he added.
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Richardson said her office could not comment on personnel matters.
The allegations surfaced Tuesday in a filing in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow organized crime case.
In following Yee’s efforts to collect campaign funds for his failed mayoral push, the FBI uncovered efforts by Bock to do the same.
On Nov. 30, 2012, the FBI recorded Yee getting a call from Bock to discuss campaign contributions.
“Just to let you know, all the checks have been vetted,” Yee said in the recording. Bock then replied: “It’s not like strip club money or anything like that right? I’m good,” according to the documents.
In another recorded phone conversation on April 6, 2013 between Yee consultant Keith Jackson and Derf Butler, a politically connected businessman who allegedly worked with Jackson, they talk about exchanging money for Yee and Bock.
“Check that we gave that politician, DA, whoever, it didn’t go through, what’s going on?” asked Jackson.
An unnamed FBI agent wrote of that exchange: “I believe this conversation related to Jackson helping Yee swap checks with Sharmin Bock to circumvent campaign financing laws.”
Campaign filings in San Francisco show both Yee and Bock had the same political consultant, Jim Stearns.
Despite the filings, Singer says “everything that was done by Sharmin Bock and her campaign was transparent and above board. In fact, the tape recordings demonstrate that.”
He said the recordings are not evidence of wrongdoing but show she was simply getting her contributors to give to Yee’s secretary of state campaigning. And Yee is asking his contributors to help retire her campaign debt.