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LEE CASE SENT TO GRAND JURY State prosecutors have taken a new tack in their pursuit of Julie Lee, a former political supporter of ex-Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. About three months after the state attorney general and San Francisco district attorney filed a joint complaint against Lee, they’re presenting her case to a grand jury. Lee’s defense lawyers had already lodged requests with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Perker Meeks Jr. to throw out the state’s case, or to at least put it on hold until a separate federal case against her is resolved. In both cases, the charges are tied to an alleged scheme to steer state grant money meant for a nonprofit into Shelley’s campaign coffers. Appearing in the state case before Meeks on Thursday, defense lawyer Steven Gruel suggested a continuance, telling the judge a change was in the air. “We’ve been advised that the state is proceeding by grand jury in this case,” Gruel said, adding that he expects an indictment to be handed down by Friday. Assistant District Attorney Davina Pujari noted that she could not comment on ongoing grand jury proceedings. She simply said, “We agree with all that, your honor.” Outside court, Gruel said he didn’t know why the state chose to go to a grand jury instead of through a preliminary hearing. But he noted that any indictment will replace the previous charges against Lee in the original complaint. And without a preliminary hearing, the defense has lost an opportunity to cross-examine the state’s witnesses. &# 151 Pam Smith

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