S.F. Supervisor Ed Jew turns down plea deal

Supervisor Ed Jew will not accept a plea bargain that would have required him to resign and plead guilty to one or more of nine felony counts against him, his attorney Bill Fazio said Tuesday.

During a pretrial conference Monday in Superior Court, District Attorney’s Office prosecutors offered Jew a plea bargain, giving him until today at 5 p.m. to accept the terms. Fazio and prosecutors declined to comment on the details of the offer at the time.

On Tuesday, Fazio said the offer would have required Jew to resign from his District 4 seat on the Board of Supervisors and plead guilty to one or more of the offenses. Fazio said he discussed with prosecutors a counter offer that would have allowed Jew to remain on the board, which was not acceptable to prosecutors.

Fazio said discussions of a plea agreement are finished. “He [Jew] is not going to resign,” Fazio said.

A criminal trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 28, when Jew will be tried by prosecutors on nine felony counts ranging from perjury to voter fraud based on allegations that he lied about where he lived in order to run for office. The prosecutors have more than 70 possible witnesses, Fazio said.

Jew has said he resided at a house on 28th Avenue in the Sunset district. Prosecutors have said such evidence as neighbors’ testimony and utilities bills prove Jew never lived at the Sunset house but instead resided with his wife and daughter at a house in Burlingame.

Jew maintains he has done nothing wrong and has vowed to fight the charges. Fazio previously had discussions with the District Attorney’s Office about a possible plea agreement prior to charges being filed against Jew, but those talks apparently broke down.

Jew could face other legal troubles. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested permission from the state’s attorney general to sue Jew to oust him from the board, based on allegations that he violated the City Charter by not living in the district he represents. A decision by the attorney general is pending.

The district attorney and the city attorney launched separate investigations into Jew’s residency after questions about where he lived surfaced following a May 18 FBI raid of his City Hall office, his Chinatown flower shop, the house in the Sunset and the Burlingame house. The FBI’s investigation is focused on Jew reportedly accepting $40,000 in cash from business owners seeking his help in obtaining city permits. The FBI has yet to charge Jew with a crime.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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