Hsu agrees to extradition within 10 days

After agreeing to extradition this morning in a Colorado courtroom, beleaguered Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu should be picked up by San Mateo County authorities within days for return to California to be sentenced on a 1991 conviction for grand theft, a Mesa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said today.

Representatives with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office are expected to retrieve Hsu within 10 days, Mesa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said. Until then, Hsu remains in the Mesa County Jail on a no-bail status, she said.

According to Benjamin, because of the high level of media attention surrounding Hsu's case, he is being housed away from other inmates “for his own safety,” she said. However, he is not under suicide watch, Benjamin said.

A spokeswoman with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has declined to discuss when or how Hsu will be returned to San Mateo County.

Hsu, 56, failed to show up for his sentencing hearing in 1992, but after finally turning himself in to authorities in Redwood City on Aug. 31, he posted $2 million cash bail and then skipped out on a Sept. 5 court hearing.

The next day, Hsu was found ill on an eastbound train from Emeryville and was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. Hospital officials refused to discuss his condition.

His lawyer said Hsu had been under “enormous, and perhaps, unbearable” strain. He was released from the hospital Sept. 12.

Hsu is thought to have contributed at least $260,000 to the Democratic Party, most since 2004, and reportedly raised larger sums by bundling contributions from other donors.

Recipients included U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Last week, Clinton's presidential campaign spokesman announced the campaign would return about $850,000 in contributions raised by Hsu from some 260 donors, and promised to conduct criminal background checks on future fundraisers.

— Bay City News

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