By Steven T. Jones
Julie Lee, the one-time San Francisco housing commissioner and political power broker, was sentenced to a year in federal prison today on fraud and corruption charges. U. S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton ordered her to begin serving her sentence Nov. 4 and she faces even more prison time on state charges. The case, which involved laundering public funds into political contributions, also helped force the resignation of former SF-based legislator and then-Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who received some of those contributions.
The fact that Lee is actually headed to the slammer should serve as a warning to other ambitious politicians and their benefactors, particularly in a city where the wealthy and powerful are always seeking creative ways to skirt strict campaign finance limits.