Jew's lawyer rips local probe as 'politically driven'

As felony charges against Supervisor Ed Jew were being announced Tuesday by the district attorney, one of his lawyers called another investigation of the supervisor by the City Attorney’s Office “politically driven” and claimed it was intended to build public opinion against Jew.

Attorney Steven Gruel had choice words Tuesday for the City Attorney’s Office, which is conducting an investigation into whether Jew violated the City Charter by failing to live in the district he represents. The investigation by the City Attorney’s Office was in tandem with criminal investigations being conducted by the District Attorney’s Office.

The City Attorney’s Office sent a letter on Monday to Gruel, which was made public, saying Jew had failed to provide sufficient evidence proving his residency at a 28th Avenue property in which he claimed to live and had a “final opportunity” to do so by Friday. The letter also said Jew had refused to come in for an in-person interview.

Gruel shot back a letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Tuesday, calling the investigation “politically driven.” Gruel said the letter made public Monday was intended to “inflame public opinion against Supervisor Jew” and said it was an effort to “score public opinion points against the supervisor.”

Gruel wrote, “I question your office’s objectivity in this matter and demand that your office immediately and publicly retract the misleading statements given to the media.”

Gruel’s letter prompted a written response from Herrera on Tuesday, which said, “None of your characterizations of our office’s motivation are remotely accurate.” The letter also reaffirmed this Friday as Jew’s last chance to provide proof of residency. Jew faces removal from the Board of Supervisors if found to have violated The City’s residency laws.

The charges:

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has filed criminal charges against Supervisor Ed Jew. In a statement, the DA’s office alleged Jew lied under oath and falsified documents about living in the Sunset district he represents.

» Four felony charges of perjury for signing false documents, including his declaration of intent to solicit campaign funding, his nomination paper, his declaration of candidacy and his voter registration

» One count of providing a false document

» Three elections code violations associated with the documents surrounding his candidacy

» One count of voter fraud for voting while registered at his 28th Avenue address

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