Statement on the Arrest of State Sen. Leland Yee

California State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested yesterday as part of a larger federal investigation into the activities of alleged Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

In light of these developments, SPJ-NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee has received questions about whether it intends to rescind the award Yee received last week as one of SPJ-NorCal’s 15 2014 James Madison Awards honorees, recognizing Northern California journalists, lawyers, public officials, and others who have championed the First Amendment and Freedom of Information in the past year.

Here is the committee’s statement on the matter:

“Members of SPJ-NorCal’s FOI Committee were as surprised as other members of the community at the charges against Sen. Leland Yee. In accordance with the basic journalistic principle of fairness, and remembering that he, like all defendants, is innocent until proven guilty, no action concerning the award will be taken at this time. The committee will monitor the case against him and will consider appropriate action when necessary.”