Secret Asian man

The FBI may be probing former Sheriff Lou Blanas’ practice of issuing concealed-weapons permits to campaign contributors. That’s according to a Sacramento Bee article last week about local attorney Gary Gorski’s lawsuit alleging that Blanas played favorites with political cronies while denying permits to other qualified gun lovers.

It should be a fun case, particularly interesting given the resume of one plaintiff: a man named Lok Lau, who claims he was unfairly denied a concealed-gun permit. The Bee described Lau as “a retired FBI agent,” but that’s not even half of it.

In fact SN&R wrote about Lau a few years ago during his strange employment-discrimination battle against his former FBI handlers. (See “Patriot Acts,” November 20, 2003.)

Lau lost his job at the Bureau after he was arrested, twice, in the 1990s for shoplifting—and after he freaked out some local FBI brass by confronting a man with a ceremonial sword outside the Sacramento FBI headquarters. This eccentric behavior, according to Lau, was the psychological baggage from his overseas undercover-espionage work for the Bureau—possibly in China, though Lau didn’t say. His cloak-and-dagger tale inspired the U.S. Attorney General’s office (then under the direction of John Ashcroft) to demand that the court allow the FBI to seize and inspect “any computer hard drive” containing Lau’s court declaration in which he described his work with the Bureau. Had it been granted, the order could have included journalists and government watchdogs following Lau’s case. The court rebuffed Ashcroft’s request and threw Lau’s lawsuit out, as well. We wonder if it’s Blanas or Lau that’s got the feds interested in this one.