Suspended Supervisor Ed Jew is now embroiled in three lawsuits after City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday afternoon to oust him from office on the grounds that he violated The City’s residency requirements for an elected official.
The lawsuit contends Jew did not reside at the 2450 28th Ave. home in the Sunset district as he claimed — or any other house in the district — between July 2006 and May 2007, which he was required to do under the City Charter. It seeks a court order to remove Jew from office and have him pay for the legal fees incurred by The City.
Herrera was able to file the lawsuit after receiving permission to do so from California Attorney General Jerry Brown. In his ruling, Brown said Herrera’s lawsuit would be the quickest and simplest way to determine whether Jew violated
Jew is also fighting nine felony counts — from voter fraud to perjury — charged against him on June 12 by District Attorney Kamala Harris for allegedly lying about where he lived in order to run for office. Prosecutors say Jew was living in Burlingame. Jew was also accused on Sept. 20 by federal prosecutors of committing mail fraud in connection with a scheme to extort $80,000 from local business
owners seeking city permits.
Jew’s attorney has said the criminal proceedings should be dealt with first to protect Jew’s constitutional rights to due process.
“While I certainly understand the supervisor’s self-interest in defending himself in criminal cases, San Franciscans have no less of an interest in resolving an uncertainty that has plagued our representative democracy for far too long,” Herrera said.
Jew is also facing a misconduct proceeding before the Ethics Commission, after Mayor Gavin Newsom suspended Jew from his District 4 board seat on Sept. 25 and charged him for allegedly violating The City’s residency requirements. The commission must determine the merit of the charges and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on whether Jew should be permanently removed from the board. It would take at least nine votes of the 11-member board to remove Jew.
The commission, which has yet to determine the parameters of the unprecedented proceedings, has kicked off the process by allowing Gruel and the city attorney to argue whether the misconduct proceedings should move forward at all.
Gruel is expected to file a motion today with the commission to dismiss the proceedings. He said that, given Herrera’s lawsuit, the commission should abandon the proceedings since the civil lawsuit would also answer the question of Jew’s residency.