Former SFSU director charged in bribery case

April 24, 2013 8:51:49 PM PDT
A former director of San Francisco State University is facing more than 100 felonies for allegedly bilking the university out of millions of dollars.

Robert Bud Shearer was hired on at the university in 1994, but the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says things really started going wrong around 2004.

Prosecutors say it was that year that Shearer came to the university with the idea of hiring a new company to handle the university's hazardous waste disposal. The DA's office says Shearer got a contract approved by the university that allowed the waste disposal company to grossly overcharge.

"We know that there were bills in the approximate amount of $4 million dollars; not all of it was overbilled but that was the total amount and we know a lot of that was over billing," Gascon said.

Gascon says he's certain of the overbilling because when Shearer left 2009, the university's expenses for hazardous waste disposal dropped by more than $500,000 in the first year.

And there were all the gifts from the waste disposal company to the environmental health director.

"Shearer received 64 four checks from Decon, which is the other company owned by defendant number two amounting to $183,400," Gascon said.

And on top of that, Gascon says there were 44 flights to China and Singapore and a Volvo automobile -- none of it reported.

The waste disposal company's headquarters are listed at an address in the Westlake Shopping Center, but it's nothing more than a post office box inside a UPS store.

Gascon says the company owner, Stephen K. Cheung, is charged is charged along with Shearer with more than 100 felony counts of bribery.

The entire bribery scheme allegedly happening while the university was seeing massive protests over tuition hikes. In one three year period from 2006 to 2009, tuition at the university went up 30 percent.

Shearer was arrested Thursday at his home in Fremont. Tuesday, Cheung was visiting his mother in the avenues when police moved in. He ran, racing his car down a street and crashing into a parked car before they got him.

Gascon says both men are in jail. Bail is set at $5 million. They'll be formally charged on Friday.


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