City launches investigation into Jew's residence
District 4 Supervisor Ed Jew at yesterday's Board of Supervisors
meeting, is the focus of a Federal and now, local, investigation.
Today, the San Francisco City Attorney's office launched an investigation
to determine the embattled supervisor's true residence.
By Tamara Barak
May 23, 2007
While the city launches an investigation into whether Ed Jew
lives in the district he represents, the embattled San Francisco
supervisor has left
the country on what his lawyer says was a pre-planned trip.
Jew's attorney, Steven Gruel, confirmed today that his client
is in China. According to Gruel, Jew purchased the tickets on
May 1, nearly three weeks before the FBI served search warrants
on his properties.
The FBI's public corruption unit is reportedly investigating
$40,000 in cash Jew allegedly accepted. In media interviews, Jew
has claimed he referred a political consultant to a group of businessmen
having permit problems. The businessmen insisted he take the cash
in order to pay the consultant, Jew has claimed.
Jew's trip is "a mix of business and pleasure with some
associates," Gruel said, adding that the supervisor picked
this time to leave because the Board of Supervisors does not meet
next week due to Memorial Day.
"He didn't want to go because of all that was going on,
but I insisted he go. Quite frankly, I'm trying to deal with the
case and his natural instinctive reaction is to try to explain
anything to anyone who will listen. For a criminal defense lawyer,
you don't want your client talking," Gruel said.
The attorney said he left messages with two FBI agents working
the case to clear Jew's travel plans. Neither agent got back to
him, he said, so he assured his client it was OK to leave the
"It was pretty much with my insistence that he left. I told
him it's my job to deal with the investigation, not his job,"
Jew, who owns a Chinatown flower shop, is not a flight risk,
"I can tell you - he's got a business here that's been in
the Bay Area for 80 years, he has property here, and most importantly,
his wife and child are here," he said.
Jew is scheduled to return to the Bay Area June 4, Gruel said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today sent
a letter to Jew requesting proof that he lives in the Sunset
District, which he represents, by the end of the day Tuesday.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Herrera, in cooperation with the district attorney's office,
asked for a copy of Jew's 2006 federal and state tax returns,
driver's license, vehicle registration, and utility bills from
2450 28th Ave. in San Francisco. Jew claims to live at the Sunset
District residence owned by his father.
The city attorney is also requesting statements disclosing whether
Jew maintains a homeowner's property tax exemption or a renter's
tax credit, and the address of the associated properties.
Herrera's letter warns Jew that if the city attorney's office
does not receive the information by the deadline, "we will
be compelled to seek to obtain it by other means."
Gruel said he wasn't particularly interested in the matter of
"I haven't focused on that. My focus is exclusively on the
issue of a federal criminal investigation," he said.
Gruel has claimed that the FBI investigation is the result of
a misunderstanding. He urged people to not to rush to conclusions
"Let's see what the facts are. The truth is in the details.
I'm not sure an article in the newspaper is evidence of anything.
My job is to unearth and deal with the facts -- not rumor, not
innuendo, not reporting," he said.
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.