Supervisor Ed Jew pleaded not guilty today to nine felony counts of perjury, filing false documents and violating California election law. His attorney, Bill Fazio, who spoke for Jew throughout the short proceeding, then asked for an expedited trial in order to attempt to exonerate Jew as quickly as possible.
“We want to make it perfectly clear this case will be tried in a court of law,” Fazio said. “I'm hoping Supervisor Jew will be given the same consideration every citizen has — the presumption of innocence.”
The court will set the date for Jew's preliminary hearing next Tuesday.
Fazio is confident that he can prevail, even as City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking approval from the state to file a lawsuit that could force Jew from office. Herrera stated in papers filed with the state attorney general's office on Friday that Jew had signed bank loan papers listing his address in Burlingame less than two months before the election.
But Jew has maintained that he divided his time between the two cities, which he believes did not disqualify his status as a resident of San Francisco. He insisted it was his intent to be a resident of San Francisco.
Jew said he told the truth when he listed a house his father owns in the city's Sunset District as his official address. Neighbors did not often see him there, he said, because he spent most of his time at his family owned flower shop in Chinatown.
“If you are in the shop 18 hours a day, you sleep there,” he said.
Fazio said part of Jew's defense may focus on whether other elected officials have similarly used multiple residences, but never were charged.
Jew is also being investigated by the FBI on corruption charges.