Life after George Shirakawa Jr.

There is life after George Shirakawa Jr., as three men are proving with varying degrees of success. First there’s Eddie Garcia, who worked as chief of staff for the incarcerated former county supervisor. When Shirakawa pleaded guilty in March, the county quickly canned his top lieutenant. Garcia took to Facebook to announce “an end to public life,” and 233 friends gave a thumbs-up to the status update—proving the social network seriously needs a dislike button. But in September, Garcia made a glorious return by starting the “East Side Eddie Report,” a blog dedicated to rewriting history and never mentioning his complicit role in defrauding taxpayers. Another man with a new lease on life is Vinod Sharma, the former CFO for Santa Clara County. Found to be spinning facts about how Shirakawa’s theft went undetected by the finance agency, Sharma was demoted to a deputy controller position at Valley Medical Center. While his pay remains the same, more or less, his benefits have been restructured, according to sources in the county. Meanwhile, renowned Harvey Rose auditor Roger Mialocq just scared the pants off the controller’s office by beginning a review of books previously under Sharma’s watch. But the man who has escaped most unscathed so far is acting Police Chief Larry Esquivel, who is expected to have the “acting” part of his title removed any day now. In testimony shown at Shirakawa’s trial, the previous top cop in San Jose, Chris Moore, recounted the time Esquivel brought along Shirakawa and Councilman Xavier Campos to a command staff dinner. Shirakawa played the big shot and used county funds to pay part of the bill, forcing Moore to reimburse the county $400. Esquivel also reimbursed the county $100, but he’s never said why. He also previously owned property with Shirakawa, whom Moore called one of Esquivel’s “high school buddies.” While unlikely, it might behoove city officials to find out just how close Esquivel and his old friend were and still are.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. I’ve always been a fan of George- but then I’m not looking for a job either. We worked together on many projects and though I DO NOT condone his alleged action, I do appreciate what he accomplished as a council person for his community.

    I never ate a meal or attended a Raider’s game with him, but I’m happy to say I know him, I have worked with him, and I understand what he was trying to do for San Jose. He’s a much better person than many of the other council members (Pete and Johnny and Rose and Sam come to mind), because he had character.

    • You must grade on a very very strong curve.  You claim George Shirakawa has character.  Character?  He is a gambling, lying, thieving, cheat.  He endangered his family, his brother, his brother in law, his baby momma and his daughter all of who were connected to his illegal pilfering of money.  He forged signatures on official documents, he darkened the legacy left by his father, he hid it not for months but for years.  He lived high on the hog, spending wildly to support a lifestyle he felt entitled to while people in his very district did without adequate parks, community centers, reduced library hours.  But his character allowed him to travel first class and have a glass front fridge for his staff lunches.  What a guy!

      There is no excusing his behavior and anyone who defends his behavior and continues to try to rehab him in the public eye when even days after he plead guilty to felonies he was back at the gaming tables, is an absolute fool.

  2. Maybe the 233 likes for Garcia’s end to public life shared the relief and joy that one more slimy character from that stink pond was now out of public life.  Those self proclaimed and self appointed leaders are shameless.  Thanks for the link to that blog, Eastside Eddie doesn’t seem to have much of a following, maybe people are seeing it for the garbage it is.  The audacity of someone so close to the corruption of Shirakawa, someone who helped him cover up those crimes by not doing his job and never asking the question (shouldn’t a chief of staff have done that?  Seems he was lousy at his job!) and if I remember correctly in previous SJI articles, Garcia was a frequent companion of Shirakawa on those illegally funded jaunts at taxpayer expense.

    The police chief should come clean NOW not later.  He should condemn the behavior and actions of Shirakawa publicly.  How can the citizens of San Jose be expected to respect the badge and the city’s top cop when he consorts with and calls buddy, pal, friend a convicted felon????

    This entire saga is sad keeps getting worse.  Pretty soon the wonder twin Campos’ will be up on charges if there is any justice. NO COMMENT from a public elected official to an official matter should NEVER be acceptable!  It is a slap in the face to every voter in San Jose that they steadfastly refuse to answer questions about their actions and affiliations.  SJI should be commended for being the champion of the public interest.

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