San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew

After reading Dennis Herrera’s attempt to rebut Supervisor Ed Jew’s response to the Attorney General over the weekend, attorneys for Supervisor Jew concluded that City Attorney Herrera’s filing offered nothing new of substance.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera

Herrera’s new “evidence” is nothing more than an extension on an existing line of credit on one of Supervisor Jew’s properties, and an old check used to pay a bill. Neither detail disputes the Supervisor’s supported claim of domicile at 2450 – 28th Avenue in San Francisco,” said Steven F. Gruel, one of Supervisor Jew’s attorneys.

“The media spin by Herrera’s office that he has new ‘evidence’ is hatched from his understandable attempt to cover for the lack of substance in both filings produced by his office at great taxpayer expense, for a questionable political purpose.”

Supervisor Ed Jew’s attorneys offer additional observations in response to Mr. Herrera’s July 13, 2007 filing:

The City Attorney continues to expend city resources trying to establish that Supervisor Jew does not live at 2450 – 28th Avenue full-time, when he should be aware that full-time residency is not a legal requirement to establish domicile.

Volume is no substitute for substance. Supervisor Jew’s response to the Attorney General clearly establishes his decades-long history on 28th Avenue in the Sunset District with documents and declarations. Herrera’s response fails to dispute that fact.

City Attorney Herrera concedes the absence of Chinese-speaking neighbors in his original filing and attempts to remedy his misstep by assigned a Chinese-speaking investigator after his original filing. However, he produces no new declarations from neighbors, Chinese or English speaking.

City Attorney Herrera sent one of his original investigators back to determine the ethnic identification of two neighbors who appeared to be of Asian descent. He tempers his original claim that no one lived in the Supervisor¡¦s house for 3 or 4 years.

Attorneys for Supervisor Jew have received copies of two letters sent to one Chinese neighbor by the City Attorney that were viewed by the recipient as coercive.

Testimony Ignored

City Attorney Herrera fails to respond to the serious charge that his office withheld evidence. Ron Lee’s declaration in support of Supervisor Jew’s residency, in which he declares under penalty of perjury that he observed Supervisor Jew, his wife, and daughter early one morning in the kitchen of their house, was information given to Herrera’s office before his original filing was prepared. It appears that Lee’s account was deliberately omitted because it countered Herrera’s intended conclusion. Since Supervisor Jew’s response was filed, another such friendly interviewee has come forward.

Efforts by Supervisor Jew’s attorneys to obtain a complete list of interviews conducted by his office have not been provided, in violation of Public Records Act requirements.

Intent is the Key

Finally, Herrera fails to address the major flaw in his attempt to unilaterally remove a duly elected officeholder, from a standing without precedent in quo warranto proceedings: Namely, Supervisor Jew cannot declare his intent to reside in the District to support his claim of domicile because of the pending case for the same charges currently before the District Attorney.

Legal precedent shows that it is Supervisor Jew’s intent that is the determining factor in both cases. Without the ability to explain his intent, the civil proceedings will be a useless exercise, and the City Attorney knows this.

There is clearly no public interest served by allowing political considerations to over shadow proper procedures and a thorough legal review. The voters of District 4 who elected Supervisor Jew to office, and whom he continues to serve, would be caused great and irreparable harm. City Attorney Herrera’s claim that he is challenging Supervisor Jew’s domicile to provide voters of District 4 honest representation is directly contradicted by the many letters of support received by the Supervisor’s office, and printed in local newspapers.

Mr. Gruel concludes, “Herrera’s suggestion that Supervisor Jew set aside his Constitutional protections by proving his residency to Herrera’s satisfaction points to his inexperience with such matters. As a former prosecutor, I know better — apparently, in his haste to pile on the charges against Supervisor Jew, Herrera has forgotten his legal training. Mr. Herrera may have crowned himself the prosecutor, judge and jury, but we are confident that the Attorney General will see this political power grab by Dennis Herrera for what it is – a waste of public funds, adversely affecting the public interest.”

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