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Former Santa Clara Co. Supervisor sentenced for political mail fraud

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Former Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr., walked out of superior court on Friday as a free man. (KGO-TV)

George Shirakawa Jr., walked out of superior court on Friday as a free man.

The former Santa Clara County Supervisor, who admitted to playing dirty politics for his role in sending out a phony campaign mailer nearly five years ago, learned he will avoid any additional jail time.

The district attorney's office says it is disappointed by the judge's ruling.

"We have to accept the outcomes from the process, we have to respect it, even when we disagree with it," said Jay Boyarsky, Chief Assistant District Attorney with Santa Clara County.

Shirakawa was sentenced to 45 days of community service, with credit for one day served, three years of probation, and fines and fees for his role in sending out a deceptive campaign flier aimed at Vietnamese American voters, just before the primary election in June 2010.

The fliers depicted current San Jose City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco as a communist sympathizer.

Carrasco lost the District Five seat to Shirakawa's political ally, Xavier Campos, before beating him last year in his bid for re-election.

In a statement, Carrasco said, "I highly doubt that the former supervisor acted alone, but only time will tell if those that coerced this illegal mailer with him have the courage to come forth out of the shadows."

The DA's office didn't buy it either, wanting Shirakawa to spend a year in jail, in addition to the seven months he already served, for other crimes.

"This was a very serious case. It effected the democratic process, and that's why the district attorney's office treated this case so seriously," said Boyarsky.

As Shirakawa was leaving the courthouse, would not answer questions, but did say, "You know, I don't speak to my constituents through the media, I speak directly to them, but Ii was treated fairly today. Thank you."

Shirakawa issued an emotional apology to voters and the community in court, saying he "regrets his conduct" and accepted responsibility for creating the flyers.

The prosecutor wanted Shirakawa to serve a year in jail if he didn't explain who helped him with the flyer and who paid for it, who printed it and who mailed it, along with several other questions.

In February, Shirakawa pleaded no contest on charges that he launched a fraudulent campaign mailer in 2010 to benefit former San Jose City Councilman Xavier Campos.

Related Topics:
politicscrimesanta clara countysentencingcommunity servicecourt caseelectionscampaignfraudSan Jose
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