Tom Saggau

Story of the Week: Police Chief, Others Reimburse County for Shirakawa’s Spending

Metro reported this week that Supervisor George Shirakawa—the top elected official in the county—has been submitting fraudulent expense reports. He has spent thousands of dollars on lavish dinners, alcohol and luxury hotel rooms and rental cars with a county credit card. Amazingly, he avoided detection despite two audits of his county credit card purchases. Many of the people Shirakawa treated to meals were unaware that taxpayers were picking up the tab, and have since sent checks reimbursing the county. This group includes San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore.

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Herrera, Nguyen Council Race Gets Uglier

And to think there’s still six more days of crazy before District 8 voters go to the polls. The expensive race between Rose Herrera, Evergreen’s City Council incumbent, and Jimmy Nguyen has had it share of distractions, but now come conflicting allegations over Herrera’s husband attempting to put Nguyen’s campaign signs in a park trash can late Monday night.

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Downtown Businesses Want Security Patrol

The SubZERO Festival in downtown San Jose earlier this month went off without a hitch, but business owners still plan to beef up security on the streets. (Photo by Jessica Shirley-Donnelly)

Part of a new plan by the business community to rebrand downtown is to staff the city’s core with two patrolling officers. However, how these security guards will be paid has kicked off a new fight between police and city officials.

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Milpitas: The Political Hunger Games

The spillover from Milpitas’ toxic political landscape has finally seeped over to San Jose. On Tuesday, Milpitas councilmember Debbie Giordano requested the city’s attorney investigate council colleague Armando Gomez’s fundraising activities for San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. The direction by Giordano seems to be a direct response to Gomez—a senior budget advisor to Reed—targeting a lobbying loophole that he says Giordano and political consultant Vic Ajlouny have taken advantage of.

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Unions Question City Hall Contracts

Randy Sekany of the firefighter’s union has launched an offensive amid contentious labor negotiations with the city.

Union Leader Randy Sekany pounds the table and rails about the way the city spends money.

“I mean, $150,000 on ergonomic chairs? When you’re firing people? When you’ve cut back how many employees? There’s not a few spare chairs around? Really?”

Sekany circulated a document around City Hall headlined “City Spending Gone Wild,” which details more than $7 million worth of expenditures on a range of items and services, from hybrid Priuses to real estate assessments. The union assembled the numbers in response to City Manager Debra Figone’s request that they take a 10 percent pay cut, reduce the number of engine companies from 34 to 29 and lay off 80-plus sworn firefighters.

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