John Chase

Shirakawa ‘Allegedly Indigent,’ Requests Public Defender in Mail Fraud Case

George Shirakawa Jr., right, will continue to have attorney John Williams represent him in a case he has already pleaded guilty, while a public defender will now represent the former county supervisor in his case. (File photo)

George Shirakawa Jr. can no longer afford his legal bills, according to his top-dollar lawyer. As a result, county taxpayers will now start picking up the tab. In court Wednesday, attorney John Williams told Judge Risë Jones Pichon that the disgraced former county supervisor needs a public defender to represent him on a felony charge of false personation. That case, as well as a sentencing hearing for Shirakawa’s admitted misuse of campaign funds and perjury, will be heard next week.

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Shirakawa Sentencing Hearing Continued Due to New Felony Charge

George Shirakawa Jr., right, and his attorney John Williams speak to Judge Philip Pennypacker at Friday’s sentencing hearing.

George Shirakawa Jr. remains free after his hearing Friday, at which he was scheduled to be sentenced for misusing campaign and county funds. Judge Philip Pennypacker chose to delay sentencing the former county supervisor until at least July 19 due to a new felony charge that the District Attorney’s office filed against Shirakawa on Wednesday.

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Supervisor Shirakawa on the Hot Seat

Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa is now under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission, which could lead to criminal charges.

Santa Clara County’s scofflaw Supervisor George Shirakawa had no problem admitting in last week’s Metro cover story his four-year failure to file campaign disclosure forms. But that seems to have changed now that the reported illegal conduct —along with payments he made to friends and family members with money he raised to run for office and retire campaign debts—has resulted in a Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into the supervisor’s secretive activities.

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