Drink shops in scandal get OK 

The owners of a tapioca-drink shop, who were allegedly threatened by former supervisor Ed Jew with city-permit problems unless a bribe was provided, finally secured an operating permit on Thursday.

Jew, the former District 4 supervisor, is under federal investigation for his alleged acceptance of as much as $20,000 from owners of the Quickly tapioca-drink store in the district.

Under The City’s voter-approved chain store legislation, the owners of the small restaurant at Irving Street and 22nd Avenue in Jew’s former Sunset district were required to obtain a permit in 2006 when they converted their ice cream store into the Quickly shop.

The Planning Department in July 2006 gave the store permission to operate and didn’t instruct the owners to secure the needed permit. The error was made "due to the department’s unfamiliarity with the Quickly brand," department documents show.

In March 2007, four months after Jew was elected, he brought the permit infraction to the attention of the Planning Department and then allegedly told the store’s owners he could help secure the permit from the department in exchange for $20,000 in cash, according to U.S. District Court documents.

On Thursday, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the permit application without debate.

Nobody spoke against the permit application or filed letters opposing it. The permit will only require Board of Supervisors approval unless somebody appeals, city planner Adrian Putra said.

Department staff recommended approval of the permit because the store won’t displace any small businesses and because there was no change in ownership when the store changed to a Quickly chain.

Jew allegedly tried to extort additional money from other Quickly stores in The City, including stores not in his district. He is due in court Nov. 10 on bribery-related and other federal charges.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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