Former SF Supervisor Ed Jew could avoid rest of jail sentence 

A judge could rule next month whether former Supervisor Ed Jew, fresh from serving nearly five years in federal prison for bribery, has to serve a separate San Francisco County Jail stint for perjury.

While Jew could avoid more time behind bars, according to one attorney not involved in the case, it’s not a guarantee.

Jew was elected in 2006 to represent the Sunset district, although he never actually lived in San Francisco. He pleaded guilty to state felony perjury charges for lying about his residence and was sentenced to a year in County Jail.

Jew also pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery and extortion. He was released from federal custody last week, according to his attorney Stuart Hanlon, after serving nearly five years.

In August, Jew was transferred to a Sixth Street halfway house to serve out the final months of his federal sentence. He was there for only four days before the Federal Bureau of Prisons shipped him to Los Angeles to finish his term in a prison there — a turnaround made, Hanlon said, because of media attention.

Hanlon said he will ask a judge to rule that since Jew was not allowed to serve time in the halfway house, he should get credit for time served for his County Jail sentence.

“He’s served a lot of time; he’s served his punishment,” said Hanlon.

Neither Hanlon nor the District Attorney’s Office have filed any motions in court. A hearing on a modification to Jew’s sentence is scheduled for March 21.

Jew committed “separate crimes” and was sentenced to “separate sentences,” noted Alex Bastian, a spokesman for District Attorney George Gascón, who will argue that Jew should serve his time.

“It is important that Mr. Jew is held accountable for what he was convicted of in state court,” Bastian added.

Hanlon will argue that the extra time in federal prison — time that Jew should have spent in the halfway house, according to Hanlon — should count toward the County Jail term.

A judge in theory “could” rule that the extra time Jew served in federal prison counts toward his County Jail sentence, said Shepherd Kopp, the attorney who represented Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi during his misconduct proceedings at the Ethics Commission in 2012.

However, Kopp added, “It doesn’t sound like there’s any compelling legal argument for the judge to grant that.”

For the moment, Jew is back home in Burlingame with his wife and daughter.

His stint at City Hall was brief but memorable. In 2007, less than a year after taking office, federal law enforcement officers raided his office, Chinatown flower shop, and homes in Burlingame and the Sunset.

Jew took $40,000 in bribes — cash he stashed in the refrigerator of his Burlingame home — from business owners who wanted to open up a Quickly tapioca-drink shop in The City, a shakedown federal authorities caught on tape.

While that drama was playing out, it was revealed that the home in the Sunset where Jew claimed to live was uninhabited. He instead maintained a residence with his wife and daughter in Burlingame.

Jew pleaded guilty in state court in 2009 to perjury for lying about his address. He was sentenced to a year in County Jail.

Jew was originally sentenced to serve the federal time first and then begin the County Jail term. However, a judge in 2011 changed the terms of Jew’s probation to concurrent sentences in order to allow Jew, who was a “model prisoner” in U.S. custody, to be transferred from a prison in Arizona to a prison camp near Bakersfield, Hanlon said.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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