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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ex-S.F. Supe Ed Jew's New Defense: My Brain Hurt

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Tapioca Ed Jew now blames a brain-freeze (of sorts) for his corruption - AARON FARMER
  • Aaron Farmer
  • Tapioca Ed Jew now blames a brain-freeze (of sorts) for his corruption
A tired writer could describe Ex-Supervisor Ed Jew's rise and fall as "meteoric" -- but, then, meteors don't really rise that often. So let's liken Jew to a bottle rocket -- he ascended gloriously before flaming out for all to see and falling back to the earth in singed chunks.

Jew's final descent concludes -- so far as we can tell -- on Friday, when he is sentenced for extorting $80,000 from San Francisco tapioca-drink store owners. Again, a tired writer would be tempted to describe Jew's tenure in local politics as a train wreck -- but not even BART is faring so badly these days. Jew's case had a bit of everything -- extortion, flower shop stings, FBI raids, tapioca, and  $10,000 in cash wrapped in tin foil in Jew's refrigerator -- in Jew's home in Burlingame. And that brings in Jew's whole non-residency issue, with the cherry on this fetid sundae being homeless cabdriver/mayoral candidate Grasshopper Alec Kaplan being arrested -- twice -- for harassing Jew, including stints of camping out in front of Jew's Sunset District abode and, supposedly, defecating in a coffee can and leaving it on Jew's porch.

Now, however, we've transcended all that, as Jew's lawyer has said the whole sorry escapade emanates from the fact that the people's choice to represent District 4 is suffering from brain damage. That's right, lawyer Stuart Hanlon played the Severe Head Injury As A Child card.

"The accumulation of head injuries, clearly the first injury being the most severe, has affected Ed's functioning in the world," reads Hanlon's legal filing. "His social naivete and exuberance likely endeared him to people initially, helping him to become supervisor, but ultimately contributed to his downfall when more prudent judgment and impulse control were necessary."

Boy, it really makes you wonder what lurking childhood traumas are plaguing the current crop of supervisors. There's a medical school dissertation to be had in Chris Daly alone.

Again, we are not legal experts here, but Hanlon's legal reasoning

appears to have as many holes in it as ... well, as Ed Jew's brain,

apparently. Did Jew's history of juvenile head injuries cause him to

delve into morally reproachable behavior when he was running his

private business, starting a family, and amassing enough wealth to own multiple Bay Area

homes? Or did he have a sudden onset of brain-bruising-related

criminality once he became a city supervisor -- at the tender age of 46?


way, we've got problems. If this is the first manifestation of Jew's

"trauma" -- well, that's a hell of a stretch. And, if not, then what was he doing running for elective office? Shouldn't Mrs. Jew

have tapped him on the shoulder at one point and said, "But Honey, what

about your brain?"

By the way, we can't bring this up enough: Jew

destroyed Gavin Newsom's candidate for D4, Doug Chan, who came fourth.

Come Friday, we'll see whether this brainy tactic sways U.S. District

Judge Susan Illston. Hanlon is asking for a 366-day sentence; the

prosecutors want a shade under five years. Illston, by the way, is the

judge that had been ruling on the Barry Bonds case until the Feds

abortively took their ball and went home. We're sure she'll knock this

one out of the park. 

Finally, your humble narrator had a traumatic brain injury of his own at age 10 -- but takes full responsibility for this article.    

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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