The federal public defender's office says it cannot represent a key defendant in a criminal case that also includes corruption allegations against a California state senator because of potential conflicts of interest.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Elizabeth Falk told a judge during a hearing in San Francisco on Friday that Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow would have to find other legal representation. She said the potential conflicts of interest involved previous cases, but she did not elaborate.
Chow was handcuffed and in shackles. He did not enter a plea. The hearing was continued until Monday.
Investigators say Chow is the leader of a gang that lured state Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco into its clutches through money and campaign contributions in exchange for legislative help.
Yee is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.