The center of an FBI investigation, Supervisor Ed Jew showed up Tuesday morning at City Hall and made every attempt to make it business as usual.
The District 4 supervisor did not seem rattled by the group of media reporters and cameramen who stormed into his office as he attempted to head to Tuesday’s 2 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting, and was chased by reporters as he left his office to go to the bathroom.
Jew declined to comment on the FBI investigation and briefly addressed the media to say, “I want to thank the district’s constituents and my family and my wife and my daughter and the Chinese community for their really deep support and their phone calls and e-mails.”
On Friday, the FBI raided Jew’s City Hall office, his Chinatown flower shop and other properties connected to him. Since the raid, Jew said his days are back to “business as usual.” His attorney and former federal prosecutor Steven Gruel has called the investigation an “apparent misunderstanding.”
The raid centers around his involvement with three owners of Quickly tapioca franchise drink shops in the Sunset district who came to Jew for city permitting help, according to Jew. The supervisor said he referred the owners to Robert Chan, of Bridge Consulting, to help them secure the permits.
Since Saturday, Jew has refused to answer any questions regarding his reported acceptance of $40,000 cash, which he said was payment for the consultant services. Jew told The Examiner he received $20,000 of the $40,000 to spend on his district needs, and that the FBI confiscated the $20,000 from his safe during the raid. Jew could face federal criminal charges, but to date has not been charged with any crime.
Jew did not speak during Tuesday’s board meeting other than to cast verbal votes in the affirmative or negative on board initiatives.
During the meeting, board members made no reference to the FBI investigation, although at one point Supervisor Tom Ammiano spoke to the importance of being a city supervisor and said, “Let’s not toy with this job.” He added, “If we can’t handle it, then we should leave.”
Prior to the meeting, Ammiano said, “It’s very awkward for everyone. No one has malice toward Supervisor Jew, but the sooner this is expedited, the better.”