Ed Jew puts commission in new waters

A special meeting by the Ethics Commission to determine how it will proceed with a misconduct hearing on suspended supervisor Ed Jew will not happen this week but possibly next week, according to the commission’s executive director, John St. Croix.

The commission is making political history by holding its first ever misconduct hearing for an elected official after Mayor Gavin Newsom suspended Jew from office on Sept. 25 and charged him with official misconduct for allegedly not living in the district he represents, as is required.

Under the City Charter, the Ethics Commission must hold a misconduct hearing on the charge and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

The misconduct charge mentions the federal mail fraud charge federal prosecutors filed against Jew on Sept. 20 in connection with an alleged bribery scheme.

Jew is also being tried in criminal court by the district attorney on nine felony counts based on the allegation that he lied about where he lived in order to run for office. Prosecutors say Jew was living in Burlingame with his wife and daughter and not in the 28th Avenue house in the Sunset as he claimed on election-related documents.

The commission will first hold a special administrative hearing with the interested parties, including the city attorney, Jew and his attorney, and then vote on what will be the “parameters” of the misconduct hearings. The special meeting would take place, St. Croix said, “not this week,” but possibly next week.

Jew’s attorney Steven Gruelhas said that he would like the hearings to be just like a court room, granting him the power to subpoena witnesses.

If the commission decides to remove Jew from office, it would take a three-fourths vote of support by the Board of Supervisors to do so.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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