Ed Jew lawyer bails

October 4, 2007

It’s official now: Bill Fazio no longer is Ed Jew’s attorney. Better news for Fazio than for Jew, though the suspended supervisor may not realize that yet. Jew’s new trial date of Oct. 26 will be pushed back even further as a result of the shakeup, and for those who watch San Francisco politics as if it were sport perhaps the only good news is the possibility that the trial will start up just as all the armchair campaign consulting is wrung out of a mostly dreary November election.

Bill Fazio, one of the lawyers representing suspended San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew, has asked to be removed from the case.fazio99

Fazio, who once had designs on the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, has represented Jew against nine felony charges of perjury and fraud filed by District Attorney Kamala Harris. The charges allege that Jew lied about living in District 4, the western district he represented on the Board of Supervisors until Mayor Gavin Newsom suspended him Sept. 25.

Fazio has a reputation as a good lawyer, and his departure due to what he has called “irreconcilable differences” likely is a bad sign for Jew.

You can’t really blame Fazio, though. His client, even if innocent, seems be driven by a unique value system and appears not to have the best grasp of when to keep his mouth shut for his own good. Not exactly a career-builder for Fazio. Jew and his family own enough real estate that they probably could pay Fazio’s fees, but people who’ve poured money into real estate often are slow to seek liquidity by dumping properties in a down market. And then there’s the massive body of evidence — 9,000 pages, Fazio told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wyatt Buchanan — that prosecutors have compiled and that anyone representing Jew would have to review thoroughly. Even if Fazio were able to notch a win in this case, it seems hard to justify the time and effort that would entail.

Side note on the wonders of the Interwebs, as all the cool kids are calling it these days: I found a photo on Flickr of Fazio with a plumeria blossom behind his ear, apparently taken at a family wedding. Not the image of the would-be district attorney we’re used to seeing, but a nice picture. It’s publicly available on Flickr, so I don’t mind pointing to it, but out of respect for the photographer’s copyrights I’m not posting the photo directly.