Ed Jew drops another attorney,
Hanlon to handle four cases
Hanlon to seek continuance in Ethics Commission
Attorney Steven Gruel, who was representing suspended Supervisor
Ed Jew in City's civil case against Jew, has been dropped from
Jew's legal team.
By Ari Burack
December 15, 2007
Suspended Supervisor Ed Jew has dropped his second attorney
in just more than two months and will now be represented by one
lawyer in several cases pending against him regarding his residency
and alleged attempt to extort money from city businesses.
Attorney Stuart Hanlon said this morning that he, Jew and Jew's
former attorney Steven Gruel conferred recently and a decision
was made that Gruel would step down and allow Hanlon to handle
each case, given Hanlon's experience in state and federal law.
"Ed came to the conclusion that it's better to have one
lawyer doing everything," said Hanlon. "It was not a
knock on Steve Gruel," he added.
Hanlon had been representing Jew in only the criminal case in
San Francisco Superior Court, alleging Jew made false statements
regarding his residency in the Sunset District in official nomination
papers he submitted before his election in November 2006.
In that case, Jew is facing nine felony counts of perjury, election
code violations, voter fraud and providing false documents related
to his residence.
Jew, 47, a Chinatown flower shop owner, is alleged to have maintained
his primary residence at his Burlingame home rather than a house
he owned at 2450 28th Ave. in San Francisco.
Gruel had been representing Jew in the civil lawsuit brought
by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, also on the residency
charge, and on a misconduct charge with the city's Ethics Commission,
both seeking Jew's removal as supervisor.
Mayor Gavin Newsom initiated the ethics case and temporarily
suspended Jew in late September, replacing him with Carmen Chu
as interim District 4 supervisor.
In addition, Gruel had been representing Jew in a federal criminal
case accusing Jew of mail fraud, bribery and extortion in connection
with an alleged scheme to solicit $84,000 from tapioca drink store
operators seeking city permits.
Gruel could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. Jew's
former attorney Bill Fazio stepped down in October, citing "irreconcilable
differences" and saying that communication between he and
Jew had broken down.
Hanlon said all four cases are now "going to proceed in
an orderly way." He indicated that he would like to resolve
the civil cases before the criminal cases, but would probably
have to ask for a continuance of an Ethics Commission hearing
scheduled for early January.
A hearing in Jew's federal criminal case is scheduled for Jan.
18, and in the state criminal case Feb. 5, according to Hanlon.
Hanlon said today that all options, including plea agreements,
are still "being explored."
"Anything's possible," he said. "My experience
with him ... he's certainly not a difficult client," Hanlon
said. "He listens, he's intelligent and he takes advice."
Hanlon said the charges have taken a toll on Jew personally,
having to cope with immense legal fees and the realization that
whatever the outcome of his cases, he would never again be able
to run for political office, he said.
"Ed Jew is a pretty simple guy," Hanlon said. "It
has been incredibly traumatic for him and his family."
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