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Warren Hinckle on the Bizarre Fallout from The Ed Jew Case. Who Ratted Out Whom?

The Year of The Rat


Ed Jew and Leland Yee in more mellow times .

Who Ratted Out Whom In Ed Jew Debacle?

As Jew Spars With Former Attorneys, Bizarre Details Are Revealed Wife Put $10,000 of Alleged Bribery Cash In The Vegetable Bin of Her Refrigerator


Tapioca Parlors At Center of Controversy Still Open With Permit Violations Unresolved

Q. What Was The Off-Bench Role of Judge Lillian Sing?Did Senator Leland Yee Do The Right Thing, Or Betray His Friends?

Conspiracy Charged; Chinatown Gossip Pot Boiling

By Warren Hinckle

Ed Jew, we are informed, was born in the year of the Rat. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rat, and there was definitely a rat involved the astonishing fall from grace of former Supervisor Ed Jew, extending to the current internecine warfare among Jew, his new attorney, and his former attorneys. The rat could be Jew’s political rivals in the Chinese community, it could be Ed Jew himself, it could be opportunistic City Hall politics, or it could be a combination of the above. But somewhere, down there, in the damp, there is a rat.

It is a bit of a struggle to reach an acceptable metaphor for the levels of deceit and treachery in this story; it had a preposterous beginning, has a muddled middle and will have a perhaps more certain end – but still with question marks left dangling like the fingers of the falling grasping for a hold on a crumbling cliff; perhaps the metaphor should be something along the lines of Prince Yusupov serving up delicious cyanide treats for a suspecting but rapaciously hungry Rasputin.

The Ed Jew center, if one ever there was, has not held. He has fired one attorney and accused him of conspiring against him, and complained to the Bar Association about another former defense attorney in an apparent attempt to recover legal fees paid, a move which is viewed as almost comical by some amused members of the legal fraternity.

With all Jew’s attorneys in cockfighting mode, there is fresh blood upon the sand. An FBI document attached to filings in the case asserts that when the black shoes searched Ed Jew’s house in Burlingame – the casual reader may recall that there was this nagging question over whether the new Sunset Supervisor lived in his district, or in Burlingame, or had a wide stance, homewise – they found $10,000 in cold cash in the vegetable freezer compartment of Mrs. Jew’s refrigerator. When asked why she kept cash in the vegetable drawer, Mrs. Jew, according to the FBI, whose reliability in verbatim quotations not subject to wiretaps is at best colloquial, replied that since the last earthquake when the ATM machines went down it was a good idea to keep cash around the house.

She also allegedly told the visiting G-men that the whole ordeal would be “good” for her husband, “Make him tough.”

When it comes to public pissing contests, there is something of an uneven spray in the sworn affidavits recently submitted to the federal court by Jew’s new attorney.


From Our City Hall Correspondent:

The late-great Hollywood Director Sam Peckinpah produced a cult-classic tilted “Bring Me the Head of Diego Garcia.” In an odd way San Franciscans this past year saw a drama play out that could be titled, “Bring Me The Head of Ed Jew.”

Last fall Sunset Supervisor Ed Jew had more people chasing him than Osama Bin Laden. Between federal, state and local investigations Jew was investigated by more agencies that Willie Brown and Jim Jones put together.

Last June the feds made their intentions known when the FBI raided then- Supervisor Jew’s office, looking for evidence of alleged bribery. Rather than let this drama play out, when the assertion again surfaced, which had been made during the campaign, that Jew did not live in the Sunset residence he listed when he ran for Supervisor, local politicians could not resist piling on; there was blood in the water and that meant there would soon be fresh meat: The speculation around City Hall went this way: Hey, the Mayor will soon have an appointment to make. And if he should, perhaps, appoint the Assessor Phil Ting to Ed Jew’s job that could set up a triple play whereby the mayor would then also get to appoint a new assessor. That would mean one new supervisor in the sunset, a new assessor, and, oh wow, if the Mayor then appointed a lame-duck supervisor, he could then have another supervisor appointment.

That was not how it worked out, but back then that was the water cooler buzz at Silly Hall.
A sort of Who Would Be The First to Get Ed Jew fever set in. Local office holders, from the Supervisors to the Ethics Committee to the City Attorney to the District Attorney could not wait on the feds to do their thing; the feds just take too long. Soon a large part of city government was in lock step singing: “We will bring you the head of Ed Jew.”

The City Attorney moved first on the residency issue, leaving the District Attorney in the headline dust, which immediately field criminal charges against the Supervisor. Competing civil and criminal charges on the same issue made it all but impossible for Jew to defend himself at the same time against both. His due process rights sere crushed in the jaws of competing city departments all after his head. The City Attorney the upped the ante by asking the State Attorney General to let him bring a technical legal procedure to remove Supervisor Jew from office.
Jew finally resigned earlier this year (some legal observers felt that his last best hope of survival was to hold onto his job and fight the multi-jurisdictional charges against him one by one), fired his two previous attorneys and hired a new one, according to the Chinese press with the extra-judicial intervention of Judge Lillian Sing. All of this has left many questions, both unasked and unanswered, among them:

1. What was the nature of Judge Lillian Sing’s contacts with Ed Jew and his new counsel Stuart Hanlon?

2. When Supervisor Jew realized he was being followed last summer and contacted Chief Heather Fong to tail the tailers, did Fong a) first call Jew to tell him that the cars involved were FBI cars and he should contact them, or b) did she first notify the FBI that Ed Jew had called her to report he was being followed?

3. Was Ed Jew set up, ala John DeLorean (the car manufacturer who was the object of an FBI sting and subsequently got off with an entrapment defense) and if so, who set such wheels in motion? (Actually that is two questions)

4. Were the owners of the chain of tapioca shops, who were allegedly shaken down by Jew, truly victims? Why have they not made their version available to the media?

5. Why were these alleged victim tapioca shop owners operating a formula retail chain without the conditional use permits for the past several years?

6. If the alleged victims were in need of a conditional use permit to operate chain stores (and operated without the proper permits), could that be considered an egregious violation of the city’s planning and tax process?

7. Whose job in city government was it to ensure that the alleged victims had proper permits and were paying proper franchise fees in an allegedly anti-chain store city?

8. Were these officials laying down on the job? If so, why? Incompetence? Worse? (That is four questions)

9. How well does State Senator Leland Yee know the alleged victims in the Ed Jew shakedown?

Is Senator Yee also an associate of Robert Chan, the consultant allegedly involved in the shakedown? Was Senator Yee aware that the alleged victim tapioca shop owners were not paying proper franchise fees? According the the FBI, Jenry Mak, who lost the supervisor race to Ed Jew, first brought matter of the alleged shakedown to Senator Yee. Why did she not simply notify the authorities herself? Why did she bring in Yee?

10. Did Senator, or then- Supervisor Yee, receive any campaign contributions for the tapioca shop owners over the years?

11. Has Senator Yee received contributions from either Mak or her politically connected father?

12. Were any of these tapioca shop owners political donors of supervisor candidate Mak? Did any of their names appear in the investigation of donors to Mak’s recent supervisor bid in the Sunset? How did Mak become involved?

13. Could someone bring a private suit to recover the franchise fee that the city should have been collecting?


State Senator Leland Yee, Other Asian Politicians’Motives Are Scrutinized;

“The Chinese Community Is Very Saddened About What Leland Did”

Translated from the World Journal Daily:

Headline: What was Leland Yee doing on the Ed Jew case?

Did he serve justice, or actually have other reasons?

In the Chinese community we all know Leland for many years – he is the future political star of our community.

But about Ed Jew’s case, the Chinese community is very saddened about what Leland did.

Ed Jew knew Leland for many years, always helping, volunteering on his campaigns. Robert Chan, the lobbyist who was involved in the Ed Jew scandal, was the brother in law of Roland Quan, longtime the head honcho of the CADC (Chinese American Democratic Club). Quan died of cancer a few years ago. He was a big supporter of Leland Yee and got his brother in law, Robert Chan, the job as Leland’s chief legislative aide.

Therefore for Leland Yee to snitch on Ed Jew was to snitch on Robert Chan, chopping off both his left and right hands.

Ed Jew’s competitor in the election for Sunset District Supervisor was Jenry Mak. Her father, Dick Mak, who was on the city’s Small Business Commission, owns many properties and businesses in the city. Jenry Mak said she would raise money for Leland in exchange for him endorsing her for Supervisor against Ed Jew. This Leland did. Ed Jew wasn’t happy because he had worked forLeland but Leland instead endorsed Jenry Mak.

For many years Jenry Mak had been an aide to then-Supervisor Theona Ma, now Assemblywoman Ma. Jenry Mak knew all the Sunset merchants, including the owners of the Quickly tapioca drink stores. The Quickly chain has stores in the Sunset, Castro, Chinatown, and many places in the city. After she lost the election to Ed Jew, Jenry Mak gathered all the tapioca information about alleged bribes and brought it to Leland to get revenge on Ed Jew. Leland, Ed Jew’s old friend, turned it over to the FBI without even talking to either Ed Jew or Roland Chan and telling them about the situation. . The three had been friends for over ten years.

Leland later said that what he did was in the “interests of justice.”

But what he did was very vicious to the Chinese community.

It was odd for the FBI to even get into the case, because the amount of money involved was a very small case for the FBI, which had passed other cases involving even larger amounts. What the FBI did with Leland’s information was to embarrass the Chinese community – make us look bad.
Two days before Ed Jew was busted, he called Police Chief Heather Fong informed her he was being followed and asked her to find out who it was. The Chief discovered it was the FBI, but she didn’t tell Ed Jew anything, instead she told FBI that he knows you are following him. Heather Fong at least could have warned Ed Jew off the record that other law enforcement was following him, but she didn’t. The SFPD in the past has not always cooperated closely with the FBI – but in the case of Ed Jew Heather Fong did. She did it to benefit herself, not to help the community; she has no shoulder to help anybody in the community.

Leland Yee has three more years in the State Senate, and could be re-elected, so has a long life as a Chinese politician.

But even if Chinese voters will vote for him, who will want to be his friend anymore? Look what he did to his own close friends Ed Jew and Robert Chan.

Leland recently came back from a trip to Taiwan. He now is solidly supporting that government, switching sides from past support of Mainland China. Nobody knows what sort of a deal he made in Taiwan.

In the controversy over City College’s plans to build a Chinatown campus, Leland Yee was the only Asian politician to and take the side of the Hilton hotel, whose Chinatown Hilton’s views were threatened by the new campus building. What kind of a deal did Leland make with the Chinatown Hilton? Nobody knows.

Leland Yee was born in Canton and should know more about the righteous and moral parts of the Chinese culture. Chinese have supported Leland for a long time, but they are now asking has he really done the right thing?

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Calder // May 17, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Brilliant Hinckle,

    But where is the red envelopes?

  • 2 lawrencerhodes // Dec 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    If this is in the wrong place please forward to Mr. Hinckle. The contact the editor link is messed up.

    Dear Mr. Hinckle

    I respectfully disagree with you colleagues alcohol for vehicles comment made on Forum Friday. Here is the story as I heard it. At the turn of the last century the first fuel in wide use was alcohol. It was later that a waste product of the refining process (which was dumped in rivers) was found to be able to burn in internal combustion engines. Gasoline. Rockerfeller and Standard Oil undercut the alcohol processors and had most of the city business for auto fuel. However if you needed to visit your grandma in the country you need not worry because the Model T had a switch which went from alcohol to gasoline. You used either & if visiting the country you needed to switch to alcohol for the ride back. Rockerfeller was not happy with just the city fuel business. He wanted the farmers business. They wouldn’t buy because they made alcohol from farm waste & there was still a network of stations in the country where Rockefeller couldn’t compete. At least fairly. So Rockerfeller donated a ton of money to the temperance movement & got the farmers business because all alcohol was illegal. There were riots but they were quickly squashed. The car manufacturers didn’t care. As a matter of fact they liked gasoline. It turns out that gasoline will wear an engine out. Alcohol will allow years of trouble free use because it is a clean fuel that doesn’t dirty the oil in the engine causing wear…
    There are also a couple of back stories like the moonshiners using alcohol and high performance engines to get away from the police which was the roots of NASCAR. Turns out that alcohol is best for high compression engines. A part of this is in the thirties high compression engines needed and anti knock agent. Alcohol was the right choice but couldn’t be patented. Their choice was ethyl lead. A horrible choice but patentable. 35 workers lost their lives the first year of production form lead poisoning. When Prohibition was lifted farmers went to Germany to investigate the potato alcohol program they had there. When they came back to report to the Grange they were clubbed by Rockefeller thugs & arrested by the police for Unamerican activities. Alcohol production for vehicles did not resume after Prohibition. There is also the destruction of electric railways across the country. The prohibition of hemp by Hearst due to his large land holdings with timber. The list goes on. Greed brought on Prohibition. Not just drunks beating up their wives. Lawrence Rhodes Solar/electric vehicle advocate.

  • 3 Barnaby Conrad // Dec 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Dear Warren,

    Please contact me. It’s about Cork, Ireland and a check for $1 million.

    Barnaby The Younger

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