Calls Grow For FBI To Launch Criminal Investigation Into Gavin Newsom Over Alleged Corruption Scandal
Costa Mesa, CA - January 18: Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin Newsom, right, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, January 18, 2024. It is part of the state's Homekey program which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness.
Mark Rightmire / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images

Calls are growing in Sacramento for a criminal investigation to be launched into California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom after an explosive story published this week said that Newsom created an unusual special carveout in a piece of legislation that benefited one of his top donors.

Bloomberg News reported that billionaire Greg Flynn was getting a “new boost” after his chain of Panera Bread locations were exempted from a new law that forces fast food restaurants to increase their minimum wage from $16 to $20 per hour. Flynn is the largest “restaurant franchisee in the US, if not the world,” the report added.

Panera Bread was spared from the law because it offered “unusual exemption for chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.” The report states that Newsom “pushed for that break.”

The report showed the numerous connections that the two men have, including going to the same high school, Flynn donating significant sums of money to Newsom’s political campaigns, Flynn allegedly bragging about his easy access to Newsom, and Flynn buying a resort managed by a company that Newsom owned.

Flynn owns thousands of restaurants, including Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, and more. The only restaurants he owns in California are Applebee’s — which is exempt from the law because it’s not a fast food restaurant — and Panera Bread.

California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher responded to the report on X: “Can any franchisee get an exemption from the $20 minimum wage law or do they need to donate more than $150k to Newsom first? This crooked deal needs to be investigated.”


Dan Schnur, a political science professor and government ethics expert, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s the governor’s obligation to explain why Panera (should benefit) from this. Absent that explanation, most voters are going to assume he did a big favor for a big donor.”

Republican Assemblyman Joe Patterson also called for a criminal investigation should be launched, saying that the FBI needed to be involved. He said that the Democrat supermajority in the state should not be trusted to investigate itself.


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