The terms for former San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew’s one-year sentence in county jail were modified this afternoon to include community service hours in San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood.
Jew, who had owned a flower shop in Chinatown, appeared in San Francisco Superior Court this afternoon to start his one-year sentence in county jail on a perjury charge that he pleaded guilty to in 2008. He arrived wearing sunglasses over his spectacles and carrying a backpack.
However, this afternoon Judge Kay Tsenin ordered Jew to instead serve a 60-day sentence behind bars, with only 30 days required for good behavior.
He was also ordered to serve the remaining year with an ankle monitor while giving 2,440 hours of community service.
Jew is now scheduled to surrender to authorities and start his jail term next Thursday afternoon.
Tsenin told the court this afternoon, “I think Mr. Jew owes something to the citizens of San Francisco.”
She said keeping him in a cell would not help the community, however the shortened jail time would still serve as a “dose of punishment.”
Jew was charged with perjury after investigators learned he had lied about living in San Francisco when he ran for city supervisor to represent the Sunset District. His primary residence was in Burlingame at the time, officials found.
He also pleaded guilty in 2008 in federal court to three counts of mail fraud, extortion and bribery for trying to extort more than $80,000 from small businesses seeking city permits.
He was sentenced to five years and four months in federal prison for the bribery and extortion charges. He finished that sentence earlier this year.
The new sentence came at the objection of assistant district attorney Evan Ackiron, who compared Jew’s repeat appearances in court to renegotiate his sentence to a crime movie where the villain keeps coming back.
“(Jew) committed serious crimes,” Ackiron said. He said Jew agreed to a plea deal where he would serve one year behind bars.
“A deal is a deal,” he said.
San Francisco George Gascon said at a news conference following the hearing that the judge’s decision was “extremely disappointing.”
He said cases like Jew’s set a precedent for current and future elected officials and that there needs to be consequences when “public officials make a mockery of the system.”
Stuart Hanlon, Jew’s attorney, said out of court he had hoped to keep Jew out of prison, but is pleased that most of the year will be served doing community service under the renegotiated terms.
He said Jew would be working with the Asian-American community through undisclosed Chinatown organizations that help the elderly and young children.
“He is an articulate and smart individual,” Hanlon said.
Hanlon, speaking on behalf of Jew, said his client knows he made mistakes and he has learned that what he did was wrong.
Using a profanity, Hanlon claimed District Attorney Gascon is making “the Ed Jew exception” by sending him back to jail.
Hanlon said Jew is a nonviolent offender and should be considered for an alternative sentencing program that Gascon boasts on his website and elsewhere.
Jew was suspended from office by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in September 2007, less than a year after he had been elected. He resigned in January 2008.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News