After FBI raid, Jew retains former fed attorney

Following an FBI raid of his home, business and City Hall office, Supervisor Ed Jew has hired as his attorney a former federal prosecutor who called the investigation “an apparent misunderstanding.”

On Monday, Jew released a statement saying he would no longer discuss the FBI investigation, leaving that up to his hired attorney, Steven Gruel. Gruel is a former federal prosecutor with 16 years of experience working with the FBI.

“Ed Jew has not been charged, nor has he been accused — I caution everyone against drawing conclusions based on a search warrant. My client is cooperating fully to clear up this apparent misunderstanding,” the statement said.

On Monday, Jew said he spent the day “talking with constituents” and going through the Board of Supervisors agenda for today’s meeting, which he said he would attend.

Jew, who was elected last November, spent the weekend answering a barrage of questions about reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from Quickly tapioca franchise store owners in payment for the services of a consultant who Jew says helped the owners with permit issues after Jew recommended his services.

Jew said he asked the consultant, Robert Chan, to direct some of the money toward neighborhood needs. Jew told The Examiner $20,000 of the money that was in his possession was intended to be spent on neighborhood improvements, such as a playground. When asked late Friday evening where that $20,000 was, Jew told The Examiner he no longer had the $20,000 because federal agents had confiscated it from his safe.

When contacted by The Examiner on Monday, two owners of the Quickly stores within Jew’s district declined to comment.

An FBI official said agents are “looking to see what they have” after Friday’s raid of Jew’s City Hall office, his flower shop and other properties he is connected with.

Meanwhile, questions have emerged whether Jew is a resident of the Sunset district he represents, as is required by the City Charter.

Jew listed a home on 28th Avenue on his declaration of candidacy papers filed with The City’s Elections Department on Aug. 11, 2006.

Under the City Charter, a candidate must have resided in the district for no less than 30 days before the candidate files the declaration of candidacy for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

The previous resident at the address listed by Jew closed a water account with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on March 8, 2006, and no water account was logged with the SFPUC for that address until Jew opened a water account on Sept. 11, 2006, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, exactly one month after filing his candidacy papers.

Jew’s legislative aide, Barbara Meskunas, said Jew lives in the Sunset, and dismissed claims he lives elsewhere, such as the home in Burlingame listed in his wife’s name.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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