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Ed Jew

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Edmund Jew
Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 4
In office
December 5, 2006 – September 25, 2007
Preceded by Fiona Ma
Succeeded by Carmen Chu
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
San Francisco, California, United States
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Other political
Republican, Independent
Spouse(s) Lorene (Lisa) Jew
Children Cammie Jew
Residence San Francisco
Burlingame, California, United States
Alma mater San Francisco State University
Golden Gate University
Profession Businessman

Edmund "Ed" Jew (simplified Chinese: 赵悦明; traditional Chinese: 趙悦明; pinyin: Zhào Yuèmíng; Jyutping: ziu6 jyut6 ming4, born 1960 in San Francisco, California) is a former Chinese American politician based in San Francisco, who was convicted of extortion, bribery, and perjury in 2008.

He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in economics and later earned a master's degree in business administration at Golden Gate University. After spending several years as a businessman managing his family enterprises, he entered politics in 1980s and went on to serve in various community organizations. In 1996, he was the volunteer liaison for then District 4 supervisor Leland Yee. In 2002, Yee successfully ran for a seat in the California Assembly, and Jew ran for Yee's seat on the Board of Supervisors in the 2002 election, but was defeated. When Yee's successor Fiona Ma in 2006 ran for state assembly, Jew again ran for supervisor in District 4, which comprises most of the Sunset District. After winning a highly competitive election decided by instant-runoff voting, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Six months after he took office, the FBI raided his office and homes for allegedly extorting money from small business owners in his district. Shortly after the raid, the city attorney began investigating Jew for violating residency requirements necessary to hold his supervisor position. In September 2007, he was suspended by Mayor Gavin Newsom and later resigned in the face of extortion and perjury charges. In late 2008, he pleaded guilty to both charges. He was sentenced to 64 months in federal prison for extortion, and a year in county jail for perjury.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Edmund Jew was born in San Francisco, California in 1960. The Jew family emigrated from China around the start of the 20th century. His grandfather James Jew, who arrived to the city in 1913, established an employment agency in 1925 and the Canton Flower Shop in Chinatown in 1927. He became a distinguished leader in the Chinese community after serving many local Chinese American associations.[3]

Jew was raised in Chinatown. After graduating from McAteer High School, Jew attended City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, where he earned a degree in economics. In 1984, he also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University.[3]

Before entering politics, Jew was an entrepreneur. Among other enterprises, he managed his family's flower shop and owned a local taxi company named Howard Mock Jew, Inc.[citation needed] In addition, he invested in real estate. He bought his first property in San Francisco at the age of 21 and, as of 2002, he had a real estate portfolio (including properties in the Bay Area and Arizona) worth as much as $5 million.[3][4]

Jew's wife Lorene and their daughter Cammie live in Burlingame, California.[3][5] He also has a brother named David Jew.[4]

Political career[edit]

Jew began his political career in the 1980s, establishing the Chinese Neighborhood Resource Center, which helped to clean up alleyways in Chinatown. He was then appointed by the mayor to serve on the Ten Year Plan Council to End Chronic Homelessness and the Office of Aging Advisory Council, the later oversaw the city's senior services. Like his grandfather, Jew was heavily involved in local Chinese-American politics, serving as president of the Jew Family Benevolent Association, the Yeong Wo Benevolent Association, the Hay Sen Benevolent Association, the Hip Sen Benevolent Association, and the Lung Kong Benevolent Association. He was also an active participant of numerous other community organizations, such as the Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, the Chinese Holocaust Museum, the Sunset Residents Association, and the Sunset Parkside Education and Action Committee.[3] Jew once served as vice chairman of the San Francisco County Republican Central Committee before re-registering as an Independent and then as a Democrat.[6][7]

From 1996 to 2001, Jew was District 4 then-supervisor Leland Yee's volunteer community liaison.[8] Jew first ran for Yee's District 4 seat in 2002 when Yee ran for the California State Assembly. Despite Yee's endorsement, Jew finished third, missing the runoff election.[9] In 2006, Jew again ran for same supervisor seat when Fiona Ma ran for the California Assembly.[10] Jew led other candidates including his top challenger Ron Dudum in the first round with 26% first-place votes. He eventually won the closely fought election after securing a 52% majority.[11][12] In December 2006, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Jew to serve out the remainder of Ma's term; he took office in January 2007.[10]


FBI raid and extortion charges[edit]

On May 18, 2007, six months after Jew took office as supervisor, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), armed with a federal warrant, raided his office at City Hall, his houses in San Francisco and Burlingame, and his Chinatown flower shop. The FBI sought evidence in Jew's computers and records regarding "potentially criminal allegations" surrounding an extortion attempt.[13]

Jew said that he had been contacted by the owners of a local chain tapioca drink shop, Quickly, to resolve Quickly's business permit issues. Jew demanded $80,000 for his assistance, but agreed to accept $40,000. The shop owners then contacted the FBI, which supplied the cash for a sting operation. The FBI used an undercover agent to meet with Jew and hand over the money.[14]

Jew claimed that he turned over the money to a man named Robert Chan from a land use consulting firm called Bridge Consulting, though this was never substantiated. He also asked that half of the money be donated to the Friends of Sunset Playground, a local organization set up to raise money for the renovation of a playground at 28th Avenue and Lawton Street. The donation was later rejected by the group's fiscal agency, Sunset Youth Services, after the directors, Dawn and Ron Stueckle and Delvin Mack learned the nature of the donation source.[13][15]

On September 20, 2007, federal prosecutors charged Jew with one count of mail fraud in connection with extorting $80,000 from Quickly.[16] Jew denied any wrongdoing. He questioned what influence he could have over the issuing of permits, and reiterated his refusal to resign his position, despite insistence from Mayor Gavin Newsom.[17] On November 7, 2007, a federal grand jury added five felony charges, including two counts each of bribery and mail fraud and one count of extortion. He was also accused of accepting $4,000 in cash from the owner of another local business, Wonderful Desserts and Cafe. Jew pleaded not guilty to all charges.[7]

Residency requirements violation[edit]

A screenshot of the letter
One of the letters sent by Herrera to Jew's defense attorney requesting the supervisor to provide more evidence regarding his residency

In late May 2007, following the FBI raid, questions surfaced about whether or not Jew actually lived in his San Francisco home, and whether or not Jew therefore met the residency requirements of his supervisor position.[18] The house in question (on 28th Avenue in the Sunset District) was owned by his father, though Jew's neighbors said that the house was vacant and utility bills showed little to no usage of water or electricity. Jew claimed that he spent most of his time at his flower shop, but was not able to provide more information in response to City Attorney Dennis Herrera's formal requests.[19][20]

On June 12, 2007, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris issued a warrant for Jew's arrest, and charged him with nine felony counts of perjury, election code violations, voter fraud, and providing false documents.[21] Jew turned himself in to the Burlingame Police Department.[22]

On June 18, 2007, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sought approval from then California Attorney General Jerry Brown to remove Ed Jew from office. Citing records that showed little use of utilities and interviews with 32 neighbors, Herrera declared that Jew had violated the residency requirements of the City Charter by falsely claiming in his campaign papers that he was a resident of San Francisco.[23][24] Mayor Gavin Newsom said the case against Jew was "very damning" and raised concern about Jew continuing to cast votes while the legitimacy of his residency was in question.[25]

On July 4, 2007, Jew's attorneys issued a 138-page response to Herrera's petition, arguing that even if Jew had not lived full-time in his home in District 4, his election had not violated any laws. They also accused Herrara of political bias in bringing the charges.[26] Herrera denied Jew's accusations, and released signed bank loan documents on which Jew had identified his address in Burlingame.[5] On July 17, 2007, Jew pleaded not guilty to the perjury charges, and was granted bail after Jew agreed to surrender his passport.[27]

During the preliminary hearing in late July, prosecutors presented testimonies from Jew's neighbors at both of his homes, indicating that Jew had never lived in his 28th Avenue house and spent most of his time in Burlingame. Testimony from a U.S. Postal Service inspector revealed that Jew's first-class mail went to Burlingame while junk mail went to his San Francisco address; prosecutors cited utility bills showing low usage of water and electricity at his 28th Avenue home, as well as loan applications that indicated he lived in Burlingame. In his defense, Jew produced a jury duty summons to indicate his address in San Francisco, and questioned the possible bias of the witnesses against him.[28][29]

Suspension and resignation[edit]

Edmund Jew
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
San Francisco, California
Criminal charge Bribery
Mail fraud
Criminal penalty Bribery/extortion: 64 months in prison and $10,000 fine
Perjury: 12 months in jail, 3 years in probation and $2,000 fine
Conviction(s) Guilty

On September 25, 2007, Mayor Gavin Newsom suspended Jew for alleged official misconduct and began the process of removing him from office. The city attorney also served Jew with civil charges of misconduct for allegedly lying about where he lived. Deputy budget director Carmen Chu was appointed as Jew's temporary replacement on the Board of Supervisors.[30] On January 10, 2008, Jew tendered his resignation in exchange for Herrera and Newsom dropping both the civil lawsuit and misconduct proceeding before the Ethics Commission regarding his residency violation. In a letter, he noted that he resigned due to tremendous legal expenses and swore never to seek public office again in the best interest of his family. Chu became Jew's interim successor until the election in November 2008.[31]

Guilty plea and sentencing[edit]

On October 10, 2008, Jew changed his plea to guilty on the federal mail fraud and extortion charges.[32] The following month, he also changed his plea to guilty on the perjury charges.[33]

On April 3, 2009, Jew was sentenced to 64 months in state prison and fined $10,000 on the federal extortion charge. Prosecutors stated that he "preyed upon and victimized the very people whom he had proposed to support in his campaign: small business owners in the Sunset District."[1] On April 22, 2009, he was sentenced to one year in county jail, three years of probation, and a $2,000 fine on the state perjury charge.[2] Jew reported to a federal prison in Safford, Arizona on June 30, 2009.[34] In June 2012, Jew was held at Taft Correctional Institution in Kern County, California.[35]

After prison[edit]

In 2013, Ed Jew was released to a halfway house in San Francisco's Tenderloin area.[36] In late 2014, he took up a low-paying job in a city-funded program targeting illegal garbage dumping in Chinatown, a position he still held in 2016.[37]


  1. ^ a b Coté, John (April 3, 2009). "Former S.F. supervisor sentenced to prison". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Coté, John (April 22, 2009). "Former S.F. supe gets extra year behind bars". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biography". Ed Jew. Archived from the original on July 17, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Sabatini, Joshua (April 17, 2008). "Ed Jew started property transfers as charges loomed". San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Buchanan, Wyatt (July 14, 2007). "City attorney toughens case against Ed Jew". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 16, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ Hogarth, Paul (November 10, 2006). "Daly Confirmed Winner; Ed Jew Wins in District 4". BeyondChron. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Egelko, Bob (November 7, 2007). "Supervisor Ed Jew hit with 5 new charges in federal indictment". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 8, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  8. ^ Eslinger, Bonnie (May 23, 2007). "Ed Jew: Associate may be source of probe". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved April 5, 2009. 
  9. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Consolidated General Election on November 5, 2002". San Francisco Department of Election. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "The fast rise and fall of Ed Jew". San Francisco Chronicle. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2009. 
  11. ^ Goodyear, Charlie (November 11, 2006). "S.F. supes: Ed Jew in District 4; Daly slips in". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2009. 
  12. ^ "City and County of San Francisco Consolidated General Election on November 7, 2006". San Francisco Department of Election. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Buchanan, Wyatt, Selna, Robert & Vega, Cecilia M. (May 18, 2007). "FBI questions S.F. supervisor, searches office". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2007. 
  14. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew. (June 10, 2007). "FBI's cash paid Ed Jew, source says". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Caught on Tape: FBI Raids SF Supervisors' Office". CBS5. May 18, 2007. Archived from the original on May 21, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  16. ^ Elias, Paul (September 20, 2007). "SF lawmaker charged with fraud". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  17. ^ Wohlsen, Marcus (September 21, 2007). "SF supervisor pleads not guilty to fraud". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  18. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt, Selna, Robert & Vega, Cecilia M. (May 22, 2007). "S.F. supervisor is investigated over question of city residency". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 24, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007. 
  19. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt; Vega, Cecilia M. (May 24, 2007). "City attorney sets deadline for supervisor". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 26, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2007. 
  20. ^ Vega, Cecilia M. (June 12, 2007). "Ed Jew fails to satisfy city on residence". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  21. ^ Sabatini, Joshua (June 19, 2007). "Jew's lawyer rips local probe as 'politically driven'". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ McKinley, Jesse (June 14, 2007). "San Francisco Fights Official Over Residency". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2009. 
  23. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt; Lagos, Marisa. (June 18, 2007). "City Attorney moves to remove Ed Jew from office". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 20, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  24. ^ Vega, Cecilia M.; Buchanan, Wyatt (June 19, 2007). "Rare move could force Ed Jew out". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  25. ^ Vega, Cecilia M. (June 20, 2007). "Mayor to Ed Jew: 'Prove It'". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 25, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  26. ^ Vega, Cecilia M.; Wildermuth, John. (July 4, 2007). "Ed Jew's lawyers reply to charges". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  27. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt; Vega, Cecilia M. (July 17, 2007). "Ed Jew Surprises D.A., Pushes for Quick Trial". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  28. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon (July 31, 2007). "Witnesses, loan application undermine Ed Jew's claims". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2007. 
  29. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon (August 2, 2007). "Felony perjury trial set for Ed Jew". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  30. ^ Vega, Cecilia M., Wildermuth, John, Curiel, Jonathan & King, John. (September 25, 2007). "Supervisor Ed Jew suspended from office". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  31. ^ Vega, Cecilia M.; Wildermuth, John. (January 10, 2008). "Ed Jew tenders resignation". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 10, 2008. 
  32. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt (October 10, 2008). "Former S.F. supervisor pleads guilty to federal extortion, bribery, plans to accuse others". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008. 
  33. ^ Coté, John (November 18, 2008). "Ex-Supe Ed Jew guilty of lying about residence". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2008. 
  34. ^ Ross. Andrew; Matier. Phillip (July 1, 2009). "S.F. mayor keeps security cost secret from supe". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2009. 
  35. ^ "Inmate Locator: Edmund Jew". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  36. ^ Yee, Linda (August 6, 2013). "Ex-San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew Out of Prison, In Halfway House". CBS San Francisco. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  37. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (2016-04-12). "Disgraced former SF supe Ed Jew working in Chinatown for less than $1,000 a month". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Fiona Ma
Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
District 4

Succeeded by
Carmen Chu