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Secretary of State Contributions Investigated

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Secretary of State Kevin Shelley says he´s “shocked and mystified” by reports that more than 200-thousand dollars contributed to his 2002 campaign may have violated state or federal laws.

Shelley says he didn´t have any reason to be suspicious of the contributions because they were raised by his friend, Julie Lee, a San Francisco real estate broker.

Earlier this month, the Chronicle reported that five donors each gave 25-thousand-dollar contributions to Shelley´s campaign around the time that they received payments of similar amounts from the San Francisco Neighbors Resource Center, a nonprofit group run by Lee.

Shelley has since returned the 125-thousand dollars to the state and put another 80-thousand dollars in donations in escrow.

State and federal officials are investigating the suspect contributions.