Senator confirms reporting Jew extortion allegations
Senator Leland Yee
Photo by Luke
By Ari Barak and Caitlin Cassady
January 14, 2008
Days after the resignation of San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew,
state Sen. Leland Yee today issued a statement acknowledging his
role in informing law enforcement of extortion allegations for
which Jew is now facing federal charges.
"In April 2007 I was given information that Ed Jew was attempting
to extort funds from the owners of a Quickly tapioca business,"
said Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo.
"As a Senator sworn to uphold the Constitution and as someone
who has dedicated my career in public service to protecting the
interests of our residents, I have the legal and moral responsibility
to pass such information on to the proper authorities," Yee
"I do not and have not passed judgment on Ed Jew, but it
was my ethical responsibility to inform the proper law enforcement
officials to investigate," he added.
Jew, 47, a Chinatown flower shop owner, is facing federal charges
of mail fraud, bribery and extortion in connection with an alleged
scheme to solicit $84,000 from the owners of eight tapioca drink
shops and a dessert cafe in exchange for help in obtaining city
Jew also faces state criminal charges for allegedly lying about
his residency in the Sunset District he represented, instead reportedly
living in Burlingame. He has been charged with nine felony counts
of perjury, election code violations, voter fraud and providing
false documents related to his residence.
Citing financial burdens on both himself and on taxpayers, Jew
announced his resignation from the Board of Supervisors Thursday.
He maintained that he has always been a San Francisco resident.
Yee called his decision to report the information on Jew "emotionally
taxing" because of their past relationship, but added, "If
I had not done so, I would have been breaking the law and not
upholding the trust given to me by the voters."
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