Shirakawa faces more financial misstep accusations

February 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
There are new questions and concerns in the South Bay as the president of the Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors, already under fire, is accused of even more egregious acts.

Santa Clara County District 2 Supervisor George Shirakawa is already accused of misusing a county-issued credit card. And now, more accusations are surfacing.

Our partners at the San Jose Mercury News suggest Shirakawa frequented casinos and may have accumulated gambling related debts.

The board president filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and owed the IRS $195,000. Shirakawa also failed to report campaign contributions. And last month his fellow supervisors ordered he repay more than $29,000 in unauthorized charitable donations.

"What is surprising here is the magnitude of the problems, behaviors, the omissions, the transgressions," said District 3 Supervisor Dave Cortese said in a phone interview.

The district attorney is aggressively investigating Shirakawa and wants to know more about "questionable charges" involving taxpayer dollars.

"This is extraordinary," Cortese said. "This is something the public should know, isn't happening with each and every elected official."

Former District 2 Supervisor Blanca Alvarado has known Shirakawa for more than two decades. She's worried the needs of the district aren't being met.

"I'm sorry that the affairs of the district and of the county are apparently not being taken care of by the current incumbent," Alvarado said in a phone interview.

Meantime, some who live in Shirakawa's district want him to step down. When asked San Jose resident Michael Hayes was asked if he wants Shirakawa as his supervisor, he answered, "No, we need a new one."

Fellow San Jose resident Dyanne Monroe added, "I'm definitely a taxpayer and I don't care who you are, you could be my sister, I don't care. If you did wrong, you did wrong."

Shirakawa was re-elected to his position last year.


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