An Alameda County prosecutor caught up in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow case for allegedly breaking campaign finance laws has been cleared after going on leave.
Assistant District Attorney Sharmin Bock, who ran unsuccessful for San Francisco District Attorney in 2011, returned to work Sept. 22 at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office after an investigation cleared her of any campaign wrongdoing, according to a statement from her spokesperson, Sam Singer.
“I am honored to be back at work and serving the people of Alameda County,” Bock said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the false and reckless accusations of a criminal defense attorney caused this situation, but this case demonstrates the justice system does work. An investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office cleared me of any illegal or unethical behavior.”
Bock was put on paid administrative leave in August following the investigation into whether she violated the law in her effort to retire campaign debt from the 2011 campaign.
“It is my privilege to work at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office which has the very highest of ethical standards. I have always and will continue to always uphold these standards with pride,” Bock said in the statement.
The allegations surfaced in an August filing in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow organized crime case.
In following former state Sen. Leland Yee’s efforts to collect campaign funds for his failed mayoral push, the FBI uncovered alleged efforts by Bock to do the same.
On Nov. 30, 2012, the FBI recorded Yee receiving a call from Bock to discuss campaign contributions, according to court filings.
“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 said in August that “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.
Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink