Ed Jew’s attorney wins motion to delay start of trial

After embattled Supervisor Ed Jew’s attorney criticized the district attorney for not proceeding immediately to a criminal trial in order to save time, he won a motion Wednesday to delay the trial’s start date.

Jew’s attorney Bill Fazio claimed that prosecutors have been “piling the evidence on me like I’ve never seen before in 30 years of practice.” He said he has to comb through “9,000 pages of discovery” and review a recently received list of 86 potential witnesses.

“There was no wayI was going to be ready by next Friday,” Fazio said.

The criminal case was scheduled to begin Sept. 28. Fazio made a motion in court Wednesday to postpone the start date until Nov. 16, which prosecutors objected to. The court decided to postpone the trial until Oct. 26.

Jew is being tried by the district attorney on nine felony counts ranging from perjury to voter fraud based on allegations he lied about residing at the 28th Avenue Sunset home when running for the District 4 seat on the board last year.

Jew and Fazio had wanted the District Attorney’s Office to skip the initial preliminary hearing. Jew said he wanted a “jury trial as soon as possible to save taxpayers’ money and get this thing over with.”

The postponement does not contradict Jew’s comments on seeking a quick trial, Fazio said.”We’re still proceeding, as far as criminal cases go, quite rapidly.”In a statement, prosecutors said they objected to a postponement. and “are ready and eager to present the evidence to a jury.” Prosecutors say evidence such as neighbors’ testimony, car insurance records and utility bills show Jew was living in Burlingame with his wife and daughter and not in the Sunset as he claimed.

Jew has faced pressure from members of the board to resign given the questions surrounding his residency, which arose following the May 18 FBI raid of his City Hall office, his Chinatown flower shop and other properties tied to him. Jew is under investigation by the FBI for reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from business owners seeking help in obtaining city permits. The FBI has yet to charge Jew with a crime.

Jew could also end up being sued in civil court. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested permission from the state attorney general to sue Jew to oust him from his seat on the Board of Supervisors for allegedly violating the City Charter by not living in the district he represents. A decision on the request ispending.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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