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Jew’s attorneys deliver bravado and bombast

By Aaron Kinney
Sunday, June 17th, 2007 at 1:31 pm in Uncategorized.

San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew, whose wife owns a home in Burlingame, had a pretty bad week.

The embattled politician and flower-shop owner turned himself in to police Tuesday after San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris issued an arrest warrant on nine felony counts, charging him with making false statements when he claimed – in filling out voter and campaign documents – to live at a home on 28th Avenue in the city’s Sunset District.

Since Jew appears to spend more time at his family’s Burlingame bungalow on Roosevelt Avenue (pictured below) than he does on 28th Avenue, at least according to the district attorney, it seems within our scope to reflect on some of the most melodramatic chapters of the saga so far.

Ed Jew Burlingame home

Though Jew’s attorneys, Bill Fazio and Steven F. Gruel, couldn’t keep Jew from getting booked, their rhetorical skills were in full flower.

“It’s not like he’s a flight risk — he’s a supervisor,” Fazio told the San Francisco Chronicle after his client turned himself in. “You think they would at least give Supervisor Jew that consideration.”

But Fazio was low-key and self-effacing compared with Gruel, who earlier in the week had unleashed a blizzard of bluster in a letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Gruel was upset that Herrera went public with a request that Jew provide additional documentation regarding his District 4 residency by Friday.

“(Y)ou either cynically mislead (sic) me or your managers completely usurped our working relationship,” Gruel wrote in the June 12 letter. “Either way, I have never witnessed a greater degree of ‘sandbagging’ in 22 years of practicing law.”

Gruel called Herrera’s letter “an attempt to inflame public opinion against Supervisor Jew.” The city attorney’s “self-serving media jabs” were part of an investigation that was “politically driven,” Gruel wrote.

“(Y)our office displayed a degree of unprofessionalism, which I have never witnessed,” Jew’s attorney added.

Herrera and Deputy City Attorney Chad A. Jacobs responded that day with a letter in which they wrote that “none of your characterizations of our office’s motivation are remotely accurate.”

Herrera dismissed Gruel’s objections and stuck to his Friday deadline. The results of the city attorney’s investigation into Jew’s residency are expected to be released this week. You can see a statement and a letter related to the request for documentation here.

In the meantime, Jew is trying to resume his normal duties as supervisor, despite the charges by the district attorney, the inquiry by the city attorney and a separate investigation by the FBI regarding an alleged bribe.

So, best of luck with that.

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