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Pressure mounts on defiant Yee to resign

On the same day Gov. Jerry Brown repeated his call for Senator Leland Yee to resign, Yee entered a federal courtroom in San Francisco Monday morning for a bond hearing.

Yee’s brief appearance maintained his bail at $500,000 and set a date an April 18 date for his preliminary hearing.

Yee’s defense attorney, Paul DeMeester said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty to the charges of gun trafficking and corruption. DeMeester also stated that he believes Yee’s suspension is fair for the time being.

“Suspension is the right step for now, and is appropriate in a system that presumes the innocence of the accused.”

After refusing to give up his seat in the state senate amid allegations of corruption and gun trafficking, Yee is now being urged by Brown to formally resign.

Brown’s message, delivered Friday and repeated Monday morning, comes after the State Senate passed a resolution suspending Yee along with senators Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, and Ron Calderon, D-Montebello.

Wright and Calderon are not associated with the Yee case; the Senate issued a 28-1 vote in favor of suspending them as well after Wright was charged earlier with perjury and voter fraud, and Calderon was charged separately with bribery and corruption.

Though none of the cases has yet gone to trial, Brown told Bay City News the senators’ resignation was needed in order to restore faith in the state’s government.

“Given the extraordinary circumstances of these cases-and today’s unprecedented suspensions-the best way to restore public confidence is for these senators to resign.”

State Senate President Darrell Steinberg was vocal in condemning the senators, saying that the senate would gain a negative stigma by being associated with their actions:

“Leave please. We’ve made that request and apparently they will not.”

Because of the recent allegations, Steinberg has also called for an ethics review to be held in each office on April 7. Steinberg issued a brief, but meaningful, message regarding the current state of the government.

“We must do more here in the Senate.”

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