Ed Jew's lawyer Fazio fires back,
says Herrera is unfair
Attorney Bill Fazio
Photo courtesy SmartVoter.org
By Tamara Barak
June 18, 2007
A lawyer for San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew fired back at City
Attorney Dennis Herrera this afternoon, saying Herrera's attempt
to oust the supervisor is unfair and a bid for publicity.
Defense attorney Bill Fazio said Herrera's decision
to initiate the legal process to remove Jew from office was
unnecessary, given that Jew is facing nine felony charges including
perjury and election fraud.
Fazio said he advised Jew not comply with Herrera's civil investigation
because he feared anything provided to Herrera could be used against
Jew in a criminal court.
Herrera's civil action against Jew "is going to get tied
up and take a long time," Fazio said.
The city attorney should have instead waited for the district
probe to be completed.
"I would hope the city attorney would back off and allow
Ed Jew to defend against the criminal charges against him like
anyone else would be allowed to do - in a court with the proper
rules of discovery," Fazio said.
Jew still has no
plans to resign. He also accused both Herrera and district
attorney Kamala Harris of fighting for the spotlight.
"Why are you wasting the energy of two city agencies? It
seems like each agency is trying to outdo the other for attention
from the public," Fazio said.
But at a news
conference this morning, Herrera called Fazio's position "ridiculous,"
pointing out that the city attorney was trying to speak to Jew
weeks before criminal charges were filed June 12.
Herrera said the city attorney's office had given the supervisor
four weeks and three
extensions to provide evidence that he lives in the Sunset
District, which he represents. Jew has not provided proof of residency
and has consistently refused to meet with city investigators,
"This is unfortunate and I take no pleasure in the fact
we have reached this point, but the residents of District Four
deserve a legally elected representative that legitimately represents
their interests," Herrera said.
"In seeking Supervisor Jew's removal from office, I am acting
to remedy a crisis in governmental legitimacy that is unprecedented
in San Francisco's modern history."
Herrera said he would petition California Attorney General Jerry
Brown on Tuesday to allow Herrera's office to sue for the supervisor's
removal in state court. Jew will have 15 days to respond to Herrera's
Jew's attorneys have been served with the notice this morning.
Herrera said today that while Jew was evading the city attorney's
questions, investigators were amassing hundreds of pages of "overwhelming
evidence" that the supervisor does not live in the Sunset
Jew's purported residence on 28th Avenue had been vacant between
July 11, 2006 - 30 days before he filed his declaration of candidacy
- and May 2007, when news reports first raised questions about
the supervisor's residency, Herrera said.
City attorney investigators based their findings on utility bills,
tax returns, checking accounts, vehicle registrations, credit
reports and interviews with nearly three-dozen neighbors.
"We ferreted out the facts and we are taking action,"
Jew never provided documents that would contradict the city attorney's
office's conclusion that his primary residence is in Burlingame,
"If I had to prove where I lived, I could pull my wallet
out of my breast pocket right now. It shouldn't be that difficult,"
Herrera said he is also meeting with San Francisco Mayor Gavin
Newsom this week and will bring up Newsom's option of suspending
Jew for official misconduct.
supporters say the rookie supervisor is being unfairly targeted.
a rally Friday, several backers suggested he is the victim
of racism. Herrera today called such allegations "an inflammatory
stoking of the flame."
"I think that is an argument with no basis in the facts
of he law. It does everyone a disservice," he said.
to Burlingame police on Tuesday on the criminal charges. He
immediately posted bail and was released.
Both Herrera's office and the district attorney's office began
their investigation of Jew May 18, immediately after the FBI's
public corruption unit executed search warrants on the supervisor's
The FBI is reportedly investigating $40,000 in cash Jew allegedly
accepted from a group of businessmen having permit problems. Jew
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