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Only on 13: Sacramento City Councilmember Sean Loloee speaks on supermarket raids

Sacramento city councilmember speaks on supermarket raids
Sacramento city councilmember speaks on supermarket raids 02:56

SACRAMENTO —  Sacramento City Councilmember Sean Loloee said he is staying in his council seat. In the face of what appears to be a serious criminal investigation, he sat down in his business office for an exclusive interview with CBS13's Steve Large.

"Obviously we're here right now, sitting down in this room because of what happened yesterday. Federal agents were inside your businesses," Steve Large told Loloee. "What can you tell the community about that?"

"This is nothing new," the councilmember responded.

Loloee is defending himself and resisting calls for him to step down from his council seat. 

"No, I will not step down," Loloee said. 

The councilmember said he spoke to CBS13 against the advice of his own attorneys.

"I am here. I'm not going anywhere. I will fight for my district and the business will go on," Loloee told Large.

Cell phone video shows federal agents inside one of Loloee's Viva Supermarkets. Homeland Security, IRS criminal investigators and California Department of Justice agents were all on the scene gathering evidence Thursday..  

"Have you considered the idea that some in the community believe that this is a distraction, and it will prevent you from focusing on the district itself?" Large asked.

"My response to those in the community is they can rest assured that my commitment to this district will not be distracted by anything," Loloee responded.

Loloee said the criminal investigation is likely linked to a long-standing federal lawsuit alleging forced labor of his employees and allegations he threatened deportation if employees cooperate with investigators.

"Do you have legal, non-U.S.citizens working at your businesses and has it ever come up where if they feel like they don't continue working there, they could lose their status?" Large asked.

"Absolutely not. Our associates, I have nothing but the deepest respect for all of them," Loloee answered.

The councilmember said he is cooperating with authorities.

"Have federal agents communicated the likelihood that any charge could be coming your way?" Large asked.

"No, and again, this is an ongoing case," Loloee responded. "My attorneys are the ones involved but as of today that I'm talking to you, absolutely not."

Loloee said he will be at the next council meeting on Tuesday. 

He also said he will not be seeking re-election next year. Although, he said he made that decision months ago before the federal raid yesterday.

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