Ed Jew pleads not guilty, won't resign

San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew pleaded not guilty in federal court today to fraud charges and indicated through his attorney that he would not resign from the Board of Supervisiors.

The charge of mail fraud is in connection with the alleged solicitation of a $40,000 bribe to help tapioca drink store owners obtain permits.

Under an agreement reached between prosecution and defense attorneys before the arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte allowed Jew to go free on bail of a $1 million secured bond.

Laporte will hold another hearing Oct. 2 to decide whether to reduce the bail.

She scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 11.

Jew is charged in a complaint filed by prosecutors in U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco on Thursday with one count of using the U.S. mail in a scheme to defraud the public of his honest services.

Outside of court, defense attorney Steven Gruel said Jew is “determined not to resign” his post as supervisor and maintains his innocence.

“He didn't do it,” Gruel said.

Jew faces separate state criminal charges of lying about his residence when he filed candidacy papers and is due to go on trial on those charges in San Francisco Superior Court on Oct. 26.

In a third probe, City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking permission from the state attorney general to file a civil lawsuit seeking Jew's removal from office.

On Thursday, Mayor Gavin Newsom called for Jew's resignation, saying that it is “clearly in the best interests of his constituents and our city” for Jew to resign and focus on the civil and criminal proceedings.

Gruel said he has seen no evidence that Jew can't carry out his duties and said he hopes to persuade Newsom to “stick with the high road” and treat Jew as innocent unless and until he is found guilty.

Gruel said he hopes he, Jew and Bill Fazio, Jew's defense attorney in the state case, will be able to meet with the mayor Monday.

— Bay City News

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