Supervisor George Shirakawa Resigns

Supervisor George Shirakawa, who was charged today with five felony counts related to his misuse of public funds, has resigned. He said he will plead guilty to the charges on March 18.

In a statement he sent out to constituents, Shirakawa apologized for his actions.

“For years I have suffered from depression and a gambling addiction,” Shirakawa wrote. “Unfortunately, my gambling addiction went untreated for too long, which led to bad decisions and actions that I deeply regret. I have been in ongoing medical treatment for my additiction and depression. Addictive behavior is not an excuse for my conduct, there is only person responsible for my conduct and that person is me. It has been through the treatment process that I realize that I need to accept responsibility for all my actions. That starts today.”

Ken Yeager, chair of the Board of Supervisors, said he is “relieved that Supervisor Shirakawa has resigned. The Board of Supervisors can now begin the process of filling the vacancy and get back to the important business of the County.”

Yeager adds that the Board has 45 days to “either appoint someone to fill the vacancy or set a date for a special election. If the Board does not decide by then, it would be up to the Governor to appoint his replacement.”

The Board will meet at 9am Tuesday to “hear from County staff about options for filling the vacancy,” Yeager writes. “The meeting will also provide an opportunity for public comment.”

Below is the full statement George Shirakawa sent out Friday regarding his resignation:

“It’s with great sadness that I announce today my resignation from the office of County Supervisor.  I will plead guilty on, March 18, 2013, to the charges filed today by the District Attorney’s Office that are related to my campaign finance reports and inappropriate use of my county credit card.

“The charges relate to failure to file campaign finance reports, filing inaccurate reports and delayed repayment of credit card charges.  Although I have previously repaid most of these credit card charges, and will repay the balance, the charges should never have been made.  I apologize for my actions.

“For years, I have suffered from depression and a gambling addiction.  Unfortunately, my gambling addiction went untreated for too long which led to bad decisions and actions that I deeply regret.  I have been in ongoing medical treatment for my addiction and depression.  Addictive behavior is not an excuse for my conduct, there is only one person responsible for my conduct and that person is me.  It has been through the treatment process that I realize that I need to accept responsibility for all of my actions.  That starts today.

“I have always worked hard to serve my community and to put their interests first.  It’s with that thought in mind, that I resign from office today.  Our community can now move forward and focus on the critical public health and safety issues that affect our families.  This community has nurtured and raised me for 50 years and elected me for 20.  I will always be grateful for the immense ongoing support from my community, and it has been an honor to work on their behalf to achieve positive improvements to their quality of life.  To all my constituents,  I am truly sorry for my actions and for any pain I have caused you.”

The following is the full statement from Supervisor Ken Yeager:

“I am relieved that Supervisor Shirakawa has resigned.  The Board of Supervisors can now begin the process of filling the vacancy and get back to the important business of the County.

“The actions of Supervisor Shirakawa are very serious.  The District Attorney has acted appropriately in filing felony and misdemeanor charges.

“In light of Supervisor Shirakawa’s resignation, the Board of Supervisors has 45 days from the date of his resignation to either appoint someone to fill the vacancy or set a date for a special election.  If the Board does not decide by then, it would be up to the Governor to appoint his replacement.

“If an election is held, it must be done within 120 days from today.  If a runoff is required, it must be held within 56 days of the primary election.

The Board of Supervisors will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at 9 a.m.  At the meeting, the Board will hear from County staff about options for filling the vacancy.  The meeting will also provide an opportunity for public comment.”

9 Comments

  1. 5 felony counts that would not have seen the light of day had it not been for Josh Koehn and SanJoseInside.

    Great work guys.  Democracy in the South Bay needs more news outlets like SanJoseInside.

    • Bravo Josh and San Jose Inside.  Who’s next?  Your help in cleaning up the cesspool of corruption in our local politics is much needed.

  2. Ever the victim.  Pathetic to the end.

    He should have taken responsibility when he entered treatment and spared the public more of his dubious and criminal behavior.  Not even one bit of sympathy because every one of his problems are self inflicted.  Sell his house, his cars and all his belongings to pay back the public immediately.  That is how you made any real attempt at redemption now George.  Otherwise it is just more hot air.

    • You must not understand the full meaning of the word “same” because the campaign finance violations that Reed came under scrutiny for were addressed.  Shirakawa STOLE MONEY from his campaign & public funds FOR PERSONAL GAMBLING ADDICTION. 

      There is nothing the “same” about those instances.  You can hate Mayor Reed all you want and you may think he’s worthy of a recall (which you should organize if you feel so strongly) but Gluttonous George violated and betrayed the public trust by outright stealing embezzlement for his personal gain.

      • Reed used public funds for personal membership to other organizations, among other indiscretions.

        Whether it’s to buy an unauthorized hamburger, casino chips or a donation to PETA… unauthorized is the crux of the action.

      • Aware D5

        I wasnt even talking about the campaign violations . Feel free to do some research. As far as hating Mayor Reed , I Dont Hate anyone . Ill admit im not a fan , I just simply Dont trust him . For many reasons including lying , cheating ,and stealing No matter how you look at it , Both have betrayed the public

  3. HEY! THANK YOU! NOW WE ARE LEFT TO DEAL WITH THE REST OF THE STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GONZALES, BLANCA, REED, McKINERRY, JEFF’S DA BUDDY.
    THE A’S MESS.
      GEORGIE, EXPOSED THE WORST OF OUR SYSTEM!
    LET’S NOT FORGET GEORGIES CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR COMMUNITY IN SPITE OF HIS ADDICTIONS.
    I WANT TO READ HIS BOOK.
      WE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM GEORGIE’S DIRECTION.
    ALL YOU KNUCKLE HEADS, THAT DON’T REVILE YOUR SELVES, CAN KISS GEORGIE’S BIG FAT PERSONALITY!

    THE VILLAGE BLACK SMITH

  4. where are all of George’s friends and those who gave him money.  Shouldn’t all the corrupt sups now and before also be investigates.  The city council and mayor too. Eryone knew he was a gambler and still kept giving him money Leave it to the looking for dirt an all politicians Metrodoodoo to keep on digging Murkkkky news now thnks who should represent the East Side-Alvarado good for nothng doesn’t lived in the district and her name is not well respected in the district Macsa corrupt organizationthanks to Blanca and her amigos.  Cindy who?