Prosecutors offered a plea agreement Monday to Supervisor Ed Jew, who is scheduled to go on trial later this month on nine felony counts based on allegations that he lied about where he lived in order to run for office.
Jew and his attorney Bill Fazio were in Superior Court on Monday for a pretrial conference when prosecutors offered Jew the plea deal, giving him until Wednesday by 5 p.m. to make a decision.
Fazio and prosecutors declined to comment on the offer’s details. Superior Court Judge Philip Moscone, who presided over the proceedings, said he is prepared to hold court if an agreement is reached prior to the deadline. Jew’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 28. Prosecutors have more than 70 witnesses, according to Fazio.
“There are always offers made at pretrial conferences … and obviously I can’t comment on it,” Fazio said outside the courtroom Monday. “We are still talking, and I am going to meet with the supervisor this afternoon for further discussion.”
In June, the District Attorney’s Office filed nine felony counts against Jew ranging from voter fraud to perjury for allegedly lying about living at a 28th Avenue home in order to run for the District 4 seat on the Board of Supervisors. Fazio and the District Attorney’s Office were also discussing a possible plea agreement prior to the charges being filed, Fazio said in June.
Prosecutors say such evidence as testimony from neighbors and utilities bills show that Jew was not a resident of the Sunset district home, instead spending most of his time at a Burlingame house with his wife and daughter.
Jew has faced pressure from other supervisors to step down given his legal troubles. Jew could also face a civil lawsuit. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested permission from the state’s attorney general to sue to oust Jew from office based on the allegation that he violated the City Charter by not living in the district he represents.
When asked if Jew’s resignation is negotiable, Fazio said, “It hasn’t been and, in my opinion, that’s something that I have to talk to the supervisor with and discuss it with him. But I don’t want anyone to think for a moment that his resolve has been lessened.”
Fazio, however, said Jew needs to consider a number of factors when deciding his next step, such as “economic issues” and “family issues.”
The city attorney and the district attorney began investigating Jew’s residency following the May 18 FBI raid of Jew’s City Hall office, his Chinatown flower shop and other properties in the wake of his reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from business owners seeking help in obtaining city permits. The FBI has yet to charge Jew with any crime.