Jew appears before U.S. judge
who will preside over corruption case
By Julia Cheever
December 1, 2007
Suspended San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew made his first court
appearance Friday before the federal judge who will preside over
his trial on public corruption charges.
The hearing before U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco
had been scheduled for setting of a trial date.
But at the request of prosecution and defense lawyers, Illston
postponed further proceedings until another hearing Jan. 18 for
scheduling of future dates.
Defense attorney Steven Gruel said a delay in the trial was needed
to give him time to go over 1,800 pages of evidence documents
as well as up to a dozen audiotapes in Cantonese given to him
by prosecutors thus far.
Jew was indicted Nov. 6 on federal criminal charges of mail fraud,
bribery and extortion in connection with an alleged scheme to
solicit $84,000 from two sets of businesses seeking city permits.
Prosecutors have maintained in court documents that the Cantonese-language
audiotapes show Jew discussing the alleged extortion with representatives
of tapioca drink shops.
Gruel told the judge that because of the complexity of the case,
Jew was willing to waive his right to have a trial within 70 days
of being charged.
Jew, 47, the owner of a Chinatown flower store, was elected last
year to represent the city's Sunset District.
In addition to the federal corruption charges, Jew faces three
other proceedings in which San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, District
Attorney Kamala Harris and City Attorney Dennis Herrera charge
that he lied about his residence.
The officials contend Jew lived in Burlingame rather than the
Sunset District when he declared his candidacy and during his
first five months on the board of supervisors.
Newsom filed misconduct charges before the city's Ethics Commission
and Herrera filed a civil lawsuit in Superior Court, both seeking
Jew's permanent removal from office. Newsom temporarily suspended
Jew from office in September until the ethics case is resolved.
The commission was slated to hold a hearing this afternoon on
Jew's bid for dismissal of the misconduct charges on the ground
that they duplicate the civil lawsuit filed by Herrera.
Harris charged Jew in June with nine state felony counts including
perjury and elections code violations. A hearing to set a date
for Jew's San Francisco Superior Court trial on those charges
was postponed Monday until Feb. 5.
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