Jew arraigned, lawyer says he won't resign
Attorney Steven Gruel takes questions from reporters following
embattled Supervisor Ed Jew's arraignment in federal court today.
Jew entered a plea of not guilty to a single charge of mail fraud.
Jew faces upto 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
By Julia Cheever
September 21, 2007
San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew pleaded not guilty in federal
court today to a charge of fraud in connection with the alleged
solicitation of a $40,000 bribe to help tapioca drink store owners
Jew, 47, was charged in a federal complaint
Thursday with one count of using the U.S. mail in a scheme to
defraud the public of his honest services.
U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte allowed Jew to go free on bail
of a $1 million secured bond, under an agreement reached between
prosecutors and Jew's attorney before the arraignment.
Laporte scheduled another hearing for Oct. 2 to consider whether
to reduce the bail and set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 11.
Outside of court, defense attorney Steven Gruel said Jew is "determined
not to resign" his post as supervisor and maintains his innocence.
"He didn't do it," Gruel said.
Jew, the owner of a Chinatown flower shop, was elected last year
to represent the city's Sunset District.
He faces separate state criminal charges of lying about his residence
when he filed candidacy papers and is due to go on trial on those
charges in San Francisco Superior Court on Oct. 26.
Supervisor Ed Jew
In a third probe, City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking permission
from the state attorney general to file a civil lawsuit seeking
Jew's removal from office.
On Thursday, Mayor Gavin Newsom called
for Jew's resignation, saying that it is "clearly in the
best interests of his constituents and our city" for Jew
to resign and focus on the civil and criminal proceedings.
Mayor Gavin Newsom takes questions from reporters following Jew's
arraignment. Newsom said he was "concerned that he [Jew]
acknowledged receiving cash."
Gruel said he has seen no evidence that Jew can't carry out his
duties and said he hopes to persuade Newsom to "stick with
the high road" and treat Jew as innocent unless and until
he is found guilty.
Gruel said he hopes he, Jew and Bill Fazio, Jew's defense attorney
in the state case, will be able to meet with the mayor Monday.
The attorney said he has instructed Jew not to talk to the media.
The federal complaint against Jew will be in effect for 20 days,
after which it must be either replaced by a grand jury indictment
or supported by a preliminary hearing. Since preliminary hearings
rarely occur in federal court, it seems likely that prosecutors
will seek an indictment by Oct. 11.
Jew is accused in an affidavit filed with the complaint of receiving
$40,000 in cash at his flower shop May 7 from representatives
of Quickly USA, a Taiwan-based chain that sells tapioca and milk
The affidavit by FBI agent Christopher McDonough alleges that
Jew approached the owner of a Quickly store on Irving Street in
the Sunset District in March and asked for $20,000 in cash to
pay an unnamed consultant to help with a permit needed from the
city Planning Department for chain store outlets.
Jew allegedly later agreed to receive $10,000 each from the owners
or would-be owners of eight Quickly shops in the city, or a total
of $80,000, and received half that amount at the May 7 meeting,
the affidavit said.
After the FBI was notified by an unnamed person May 2, the store
owner, an employee, a Quickly distributor and two purported would-be
owners agreed to have their conversations with Jew and the consultant
recorded, the affidavit said. Most of the conversations were in
The affidavit alleges that in the recordings, Jew told the Quickly
representatives the consultant would help with paperwork while
Jew would be "in the back" and "inside to help
Jew allegedly said, "I am the boss" of a key planning
official and said, "Right now, I'm helping you from the inside."
On May 18, according to the affidavit, the FBI executed search
warrants and interviewed Jew.
Jew initially acknowledged he collected $40,000 from the Quickly
representatives and told FBI agents it was on behalf of the consultant
and that he had given the consultant the entire amount, according
to the affidavit.
After being informed of the recordings, Jew allegedly changed
his statement and said he had given only half the money to the
consultant and planned to give most of the remaining $20,000 to
charity, the affidavit said.
Agents found $10,000 of the money in marked bills in a May 18
search of a house occupied by Jew in Burlingame, the affidavit
Gruel declined to comment on the details of the allegations,
but said, "My understanding is that there was a contract
of some sort and a request for a receipt" and said that information
was left out of the affidavit.
The attorney said he expects Jew to post the $1 million bond
by using real estate property as collateral.
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
Editor's Note: For a chronology of Supervisor Ed Jew's
legal troubles, click
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