A city supervisor charged with demanding bribes from businessmen and lying about where he lives to run for office will resign Friday, city officials said.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and others had been trying for months to get
Ed Jew to resign from the Board of Supervisors. Newsom had
suspended him from the 11-member board pending the outcome of the
proceedings against him.
"It's an important day to get behind us. It's long overdue," Newsom said Thursday following the resignation announcement.
In a statement read by his attorney, Jew said he was resigning
"not only from the Board of Supervisors, but from public service." Jew said he decided to leave office because the cost of defending the civil and criminal cases was too much to bear.
City officials said that in exchange for Jew's resignation, they agreed to drop their ethics investigation and a lawsuit that sought to permanently remove him from office.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Jew's resignation was not an
admission of wrongdoing. He also acknowledged Jew for making a
difficult but principled decision.
"This is not a day to claim victory or vindication, but rather a day to put acrimony behind us," Herrera said.
In November, Jew pleaded not guilty in federal court to bribery,
extortion and fraud for allegedly demanding $80,000 from fast food
restaurant owners to make help expedite permits and other business
with the planning department.
He faces separate state charges of election fraud for allegedly lying about living in San Francisco to qualify to represent the city's western neighborhoods. He has pleaded not guilty in that case as well.
"The fact that Ed Jew resigned is immaterial to the criminal case pending against him," District Attorney Kamala Harris said of that case.
In his statement, Jew said he moved his family to San Mateo because his wife had breast cancer and wanted to be closer to her mother and sisters.
Associated Press Writer Paul Elias contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)