Supervisor Ed Jew got his hands dirty Monday as he very publicly replanted a tree that had been vandalized near his Chinatown flower shop.
“We’re trying to educate neighbors to keep their eyes open,” Jew said as he picked up the shards of a broken clay planter at Waverly Place near Washington Street on Monday. “If you see something like this, report it.”
In an afternoon media event, rare since his office was raided by FBI agents May 18, Jew replanted the bedraggled tree, which had been vandalized just hours before. He said another of the trees that the Waverly Place Merchants Association had bought for the street was knocked over and broken Sunday evening.
Since Jew’s legal troubles began, his fellow lawmakers and a host of other commentators have called for his ouster, saying he won’t be able to serve his district while contending with a federal investigation into illicit financial dealings; a local, nine-count criminal prosecution including voter fraud and perjury, based on the allegation he never resided at the 2450 28th Ave. house in the Sunset, as he claimed; and a civil investigation into whether he should be removed from the board for alleged mis-reporting of his address.
Jew declined to talk about the ongoing investigation and prosecution Monday, saying, “I’m still working.” He said he was tackling quality-of-life issues, such as graffiti, in the Outer Sunset district he represents and in the area around his family’s Chinatown flower shop on Waverly Place.
Jew was reticent to talk about specific legislation or other programs he may have in the works. “There are some things I’d rather keep quiet on,” he said.
But he wasn’t keeping quiet on the problem of Chinatown tree vandalism. Jew, who said he personally saw a local homeless man destroy one of the trees Monday, urged residents to report acts of vandalism.
Jew is due back in San Francisco Superior Court for an arraignment on Aug. 20. A date for his trial will likely be set then, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Bilen Mesfin said Monday.
The district attorney’s investigation began when questions about Jew’s residency surfaced shortly after the May 18 FBI raid of his City Hall office and properties he is connected with. The FBI is investigating Jew for reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from business owners who sought help in obtaining city permits. The FBI has yet to charge Jew with a crime.
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