Facing an arrest warrant and nine felony charges ranging from perjury to voter fraud, Supervisor Ed Jew surrendered himself Tuesday night to the Burlingame Police Department.
Ironically, Jew surrendered in the same city that has gained attention in a probe regarding his residency that led to charges.
Jew turned himself in at about 7:15 p.m., posted the $135,000 bail and was free to go by 8 p.m., according to Jew’s attorney Bill Fazio. A court date was set for July 16 in San Francisco.
District Attorney Kamala Harris issued a warrant for Jew’s arrest Tuesday afternoon, alleging that Jew lied under oath and falsified documents regarding his Sunset residency so he could run for the District 4 seat for supervisor.
Harris alleges that Jew has never resided at the 28th Avenue home or any other home in District 4 during his run for office. Jew has maintained that he does reside at the Sunset home — one of several properties, including a Burlingame property, that he, his wife and parents own. He dismissed suggestions that he spends most of his time at the Burlingame home his wife owns.
The investigation was launched by Harris a day after the FBI raided Jew’s City Hall office, his Chinatown flower shop and other properties in a probe focused on Jew’s reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from business owners who sought help in obtaining city permits.
Harris is working on the investigation in tandem with City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who is investigating whether Jew has violated the City Charter, which requires members of the Board of Supervisors to reside in the districts they represent for 30 days before declaring their intention to run for a position. Jew was elected to the Board of Supervisors in November after he submitted candidacy papers three months earlier listing an address in the city’s Sunset District.
Herrera’s investigation remains ongoing, and Jew was given a new Friday deadline to hand over proof of his residency, after Herrera’s office said Jew failed to hand over sufficient evidence proving his residency on June 8.
The District attorney filed charges related to various documents Jew filed with The City as part of his candidacy for the November 2006 election, when Jew surprisingly won the District 4 seat. The documents — which list his address as the 28th Avenue home in the Sunset district his father owns — included a declaration of intent to solicit campaign contributions, which was filed in February 2006, nomination papers filed on Aug. 11, 2006 and a declaration of candidacy filed the same day.
Jew has been charged with perjury for using the 28th Avenue address to register to vote in March 2003 and also for using the 28th Avenue address for a Department of Motor Vehicles application in February 2006.
Jew has also been charged with voter fraud as he allegedly voted in the November 2006 election using the 28th Avenue address.
“This case goes to the heart of the integrity of the electoral process in our city,” Harris said in a statement. “When San Franciscans go to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice, they should not have to question the eligibility of their candidate to hold office.”
Bill Fazio, one of Jew’s attorneys, said he did not expect charges to be filed since he had been discussing the case with the District Attorney’s Office “working toward a possible plea agreement and it was just abruptly cut short.” Fazio said he would not speak to the substance of the charges, not having seen the complaint yet.
Steven Gruel, also an attorney for Jew, said he was “a little shocked and disappointed that instead of negotiating something” the charges were filed in what he called a “race to the courthouse.” Gruel said that Jew “intends to fight the charges and has no plans to do otherwise.”
Gruel added,”The issue of residency is very difficult to prove and very difficult to claim somebody doesn’t live there because it is a very fluid concept.”
Jew, who unexpectedly won the District 4 seat last November, has refused to talk to the media but recently penned an opinion piece saying he would not resign. The City Attorney’s investigation could lead to Jew’s removal if it is found that he violated the City Charter by lying about his residency.
Man under fire: A look at Ed Jew
Represents: District 4
Elected: November 2006, beating Ron Dudum with 52 percent of the vote after ranked-choice voting results were calculated
City Hall nickname: “Mr. No,” for often opposing colleagues’ legislation on fiscal grounds
Campaign finances: Raised $104,597 for supervisorial campaign in 2006; $80,000 of that total came from loans or contributions he made to his own campaign
Family: Wife, Lisa, and one daughter
Family business: Canton Flower Shop in Chinatown, established by his grandfather in 1927
Family real estate holdings (past and present): 118 Waverly Place; 112-120 Waverly Place; 1490 Newcomb Ave.; 2626 Sutter St.; 1107-1111 Ocean Ave.; 2130-2134 Steiner St.; 1679 32nd Ave.; 12 Ross Alley; 940 Jackson St.; 1027-1029 Washington St.; 2450 28th Ave.; 1545 Ocean Ave.; 266-268 11th Ave.; 2116 Roosevelt Ave., Burlingame; 4213 E. Sahuaro Drive, Phoenix; 712 Eason Ave., Buckeye, Ariz.; 9990 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Ariz.; 4632 W. Gail Drive, Chandler, Ariz.
Being investigated by: City Attorney, District Attorney, FBI