In 2004, Jimmy Meng made history after becoming the first Asian American elected to the New York State legislature. His daughter, Grace Meng, followed in her father’s footsteps by winning the 2008 election for the 22nd assembly district in Flushing, Queens. She still holds the position today and is now seeking a seat in Congress as the Democratic nominee for New York’s 5th congressional district.
Not all is well with the Meng family, however. Yesterday, Jimmy Meng was arrested on federal wire charges, reports the New York Times.
Allegedly, in late 2011 Meng solicited $80,000 from a friend facing criminal tax charges in Manhattan. In exchange, Meng promised to bribe federal prosecutors in order for his friend to receive a more lenient sentence.
Yesterday, Meng’s friend showed up at Meng’s lumber yard in Flushing with a fruit basket and handed it over to Meng. Inside the basket was $80,000 cash.
After Meng was arrested, federal authorities sought to turn him into a cooperating witness as part of a larger corruption investigation, according to the NY Daily News.
He refused the offer, and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
The complaint notes there is no evidence Meng actually approached any federal prosecutors regarding his friend’s tax charges.
Meng’s daughter is doing what she can to minimize the blow to her campaign, saying, “I am independent of my father—always have been, always will be.”