Ed Jew to resign in deal with city

January 10, 2008 7:01:42 PM PST
Embattled San Francisco city supervisor Ed Jew has decided to give-up the fight to keep his seat.

It's been enormously expensive to fight on so many fronts. He faced city, state, and federal charges. Ed Jew's attorney approached the city about making a deal a month ago. They reached a settlement late on Wednesday.

The supervisor's resignation becomes effective at noon on Friday.

Ed Jew's tenure as an elected supervisor is over almost exactly one year after it began.

At a news conference on Thursday, his attorney read a statement from Jew.

"I feel it's in the best interest for my family and the district under the current situation. I reached this decision with a heavy heart," said Ed Jew's attorney Stuart Hanlon.

In exchange, the city will drop a civil lawsuit and misconduct proceedings against Jew. That action accused the supervisor of lying about living in District four and today his attorney read Jew's explanation of why he spent time elsewhere.

"My family moved to San Mateo because my wife had surgery and breast cancer after my run in 2002. She wanted to be near family to care for her," said Hanlon.

But Jew does not admit any guilt, but Mayor Gavin Newsom says the evidence was overwhelming.

"You don't just resign unless you've got the need to resign. I think it was appropriate that he resigned," said Newsom.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera says this settlement has been on the table for sometime, and he's glad the supervisor finally took it.

"This is not a day to claim victory or vindication, but to put acrimony behind us and get on with the business of governing the city and county of San Francisco," said Herrera.

Herrera says the dispute cost city taxpayers about $300,000 dollars in legal fees.

For Ed Jew, the financial burden of trying to keep his job was overwhelming. He still has the expense of fighting two criminal cases that include state charges of perjury and voter fraud and federal charges of bribery, fraud and extortion. Investigators say he shaking down businesses in his district.

Residents we talked to shared this woman's opinion.

"He got caught," said District Four resident Jenny Thompson.

ABC7's Carolyn Tyler: "You're glad he's resigning."

Jenny Thompson: "Sure, why not, give someone else a chance."

The mayor named Carmen Chu as an interim replacement back in September when Jew was suspended. He says she's doing well, but Chu's not saying if she wants to become a permanent appointment.

"It's certainly time to make that decision," said interim supervisor Carmen Chu.

The mayor says he and Chu will begin talks right away because as of noon tomorrow District Four, the Sunset neighborhood, will be without representation.

Anyone who takes the job would only hold it until November when that seat becomes one of seven on the eleven-member board up for election.