The Growing Cost of the Shirakawa Scandal


While George Shirakawa Jr. bides his time behind bars after admitting to filching public money, the price of defending him in court keeps ticking up as a second criminal case moves forward. By the latest count, the erstwhile county supervisor’s attorney has cost taxpayers $15,950.54 for work completed through February, according to the Indigent Legal Defense Office. We can add that to that the $3 million the county already spent on audits and a couple special elections to sop up the mess Shirakawa made. But with the trial date in his political mail fraud case pushed back to September, we can expect this tally to keep growing. County rules dictate his taxpayer-provided defense attorney, Jay Rorty, can charge no more than $110 an hour. But since Shirakawa’s suspected of licking stamps affixed to political mailers, his defense could significantly increase next month. Rorty has hired renowned DNA and change-of-venue experts to weigh in on the trial.


  1. Change of venbue experts…plural? Why are they needed? I’m sure they’ll charge the county more than $110.00/hour. Rorty can’t reserach a change of venue motion? It’s really kinda simple–can Georgie get a fair trial in SC County due to the pubilicty? Besides, change of venue motions should be made promptly after arraignment. The People are entitled to a speedy trial. These delays, which will allow the statute of limitations to run on other possible defendants, are unnecessary. Sadly, the D.A. is complicit in the delays by not insisting on moving forward with an early trial date. Business as usual.

  2. George needs to man up and grow a pair. They have his DNA, on a stamp. Somewhere in the chain of producing those mailers, his DNA ended up on it.

    Even if he didn’t lick the stamps, somehow they got close to his vicinity to get his DNA on them. Even if he didn’t do it, he knows who did.

    • Gorgeous George has to know where all the bodies are buried. He knows who masterminded and participated in this because he’s too bloated and self important to have done it all by himself. I bet there’s a Campos or two (and throw in a Garcia for good measure) who are shaking in their labor money boots worrying about what he might say. I wonder if Shirakawa getting out in May is a good thing because he’ll be a loose cannon and let’s hope he has something to say to the public that he claims he loved so much. His first step to redemption isn’t jail it would be coming clean and letting San Jose sweep out all those criminal types at once and get back to the very important business of the city.

      • The big guy got off light with only a one year sentence, of which he’ll serve only 6 months. The DA should have required him to name names as a condition of such a light sentence. Rosen has another chance to pick up some names with this current charge. But if his trial deputy keeps agreeing to continuances, the statute of limitations will run, and they’ll all skate. Rosen is running for re-election unopposed; but we can all send a message by NOT voting for him.

  3. This is a cheap price to pay to put a crook-ed elected official in jail. This piece of dirt didn’t steal an apple from a vendor, he stole from all of us.
    Just keep track of the actions he takes and the cost, and make sure the judge knows he tried to run up the cost in the hopes that we would stop. Maybe the judge will make him pay with time! Anyway, it will send an important message to all of other elected officials that we will not stand for elected officials, who are responsible for passing laws that effect us all, to steal from us.
    Make sure the Judge understands this.
    Money well spent!

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