George Shirakawa Jr. Out of Jail

In the end, it took longer to put George Shirakawa Jr. in jail than the time he actually served. But that might not be the case for long.

An official at Santa Rita Jail, where the former county supervisor had been in custody since November of last year, told San Jose Inside on Tuesday that Shirakawa was transferred to Santa Clara County jail officials on Friday, May 9, because he had a hold for a warrant.

Deputy Kurtis Stenderup, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, said that Shirakawa was received on that date but had few other details. He added, “He’s no longer in our custody.”

The deputy said he would need to speak with county counsel to make sure he was not breaking privacy laws by disclosing more details of Shirakawa’s release.

On Nov. 8, roughly eight months after Shirakawa resigned from office and pleaded guilty to five felonies and seven misdemeanors, Judge Daniel T. Nishigaya sentenced the former top elected official in Santa Clara County to a year in jail—minus one day served—for pilfering more than $130,000 from his 2008 supervisor campaign.

Metro/San Jose Inside first broke the story of Shirakawa’s failure to file campaign disclosure forms, which he did not submit in an effort cover up his funneling of contributions to a secret bank account. He used this money to fund his lavish lifestyle and gambling addiction, as well as pay the salaries of friends and family. Shirakawa and his chief of staff, Eddie Garcia, would laugh off the issue in an interview.

A subsequent Metro/San Jose Inside report found that Shirakawa was also misusing thousands of taxpayer dollars on meals and vacations. He later reimbursed some of the expenses and the county would eventually revise nearly all of its employee expenditure policies.

Shirakawa’s release roughly six months after his sentencing is not a surprise, as each day served in good conduct earned him an extra day credit. He was confined to the infirmary for much of his stay at Santa Rita Jail.

A message left at his home was not immediately returned, and a call to Linda Delagdo, who served as Shirakawa’s campaign treasurer and is the mother of one of his children, also went unanswered.

While Shirakawa is out of custody, his legal troubles are far from over. He will be back in court this fall on a mail fraud charge after his DNA was found on an illegal political mailer connected to Xavier Campos’ 2010 San Jose City Council campaign. Delgado served as a treasurer to both Shirakawa and Campos, which led the Fair Political Practices Commission to launch an investigation into Campos' campaign in April of last year.

In October, Campos invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering grand jury questions, but a search of Shirakawa's home turned up materials and receipts that could be connected to the mail fraud scheme.

Shirakawa's new trial is expected to begin in September.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

7 Comments

  1. Why was he in the infirmary, treatment for obesity and high blood pressure? That didn’t seem to bother him when he was out and about scarfing down food at the likes of Loft bar and Bistro, with his heavily tattooed biker-looking and even larger friend (bodyguard?). More special treatment.

  2. My question, perhaps Ben Field can answer it: so how soon before he gets a job with a labor affiliated group? Better yet (the ideas are just free flowing this morning), how soon does he hit the campaign trail for all his friends (Dave Cortese, Cindy Chavez, and last but not least Xavier Campos). I hear he is quite proficient at licking stamps, Labor might be able to save some money on direct mail costs.

  3. Big George made SOME mistakes?? Done HALF his time. The plain fact is that the DA’s office was too CS to take Sirakawa Jr. to trial because John Williams might have won an aquittal for the big thief; only because John is a better lawyer, not because Bog George is innocent. The taxpayers were robbed and Rosen’s office gave him a slap on the wrist–6 months in the infirmary at Santa Rita. DA’s will plea bargain any case they aren’t 150% sure they will win. Spineless lawyers. Jeff Rosen’s office gave away the store; yet no-one has the cojones to challenge him for re-election. Pathetic!

  4. He and his chief of staff laughed off the questions when SJI first raised them. Shirakawa went to jail but what about Garcia? Is he just another idiot ala Campos who trouble follows but they manage to side step? He’s trying to peddle himself on the public still as an elder statesman even though he has been repeatedly rejected by the public voters in every single campaign he ran in and was FIRED by the county and slinked out of his office during the Shirakawa debacle. Yet he continues to try to force himself on the public as a leadership and integrity expert. Shame on Latino Leadership Alliance, Stanford University and any other group or organization that hasn’t cut ties with all of these failed, indicted, convicted and charged “leaders”. Shame on all of them for continuing to try to blog their way into the public pockets again. Remember to vote Carrasco or Resendez for D5 on June 3. It will be a small step towards righting the wrong done by these thieves.

  5. Mr Koehn what was the total cost to taxpayers for Shirakawa’s failure? The special election that was held when he was arrested and put in jail was in the millions wasn’t it?

    Couldn’t the same be true now that Xavier Campos is running for re-election? If he wins the seat again but is later indicted and convicted and sent to jail wouldn’t the San Jose voters again be on the hook for millions of dollars of special election costs?

    I hope SJ voters are paying attention because even if you like Campos and he’s your guy, you should ask yourself if you like him enough to throw away millions of dollars of tax payer money that is needed for police, fire and neighborhood services. No council person is worth that and if he had integrity he’d back out of the race and take care of his personal problems before inflicting them on the citizens of San Jose. I guess some people are just selfish and self important to the core.

    • First off: the DA has quietly agreed to postpone Shirakawa’s trail on Stampgate. In a few months the statute of limitations on Campos will expire, with the collusion of the DA’s office.

      Secondly, those in D5 (or almost anywhere else for that matter)don’t give a damn about the crimes of their officials as long as they get the pork they want. How else does one explain the incredibly low ratings of Congress as a body, yet all the incumbents get re-elected–it’s the pork the individual brings to the district.

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