The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) confirmed Thursday that it has expanded its investigation into San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos’ 2010 campaign. Earlier this week, San Jose Inside reported that Campos and incarcerated former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. created fictitious business filings with the county Recorder’s office under identical names as their campaigns. The unconventional finance practice could have allowed the two men to funnel campaign contributions into secret bank accounts.
Shirakawa is currently in jail for pilfering funds from his 2008 supervisor campaign.
The FPPC—the state political watchdog—launched its initial inquiry into Campos’ campaign in April following San Jose Inside’s discovery that the councilman used Linda Delgado as his campaign treasurer and he repeatedly missed filing deadlines after coming into office. Delgado is the mother of one of Shirakawa’s children and also oversaw his campaigns, which redirected more than $130,000 into a bank account prosecutors called a “slush fund.”
Last week, a search warrant report from a District Attorney investigator showed that evidence seized from Shirakawa’s home appears to connect Campos’ campaign to the production of fraudulent political mailers against his 2010 council opponent, Magdalena Carrasco. Documents indicate Campos’ campaign purchased the same materials—printers, paper stock, stamps and ink cartridges—that were used to produce a flyer that portrayed Carrasco as a proud communist to East San Jose’s Vietnamese voters. The flyer, an affront to these voters, came out just weeks before the primary, which Carrasco lost to Campos by just 20 votes.
Both Campos and Delgado invoked the Fifth Amendment at an October grand jury hearing to avoid answering questions about the mail fraud scandal. Shirakawa was the only person indicted from that hearing and his trial on one count of false personation will be back in court next month.
The District Attorney’s office declined comment about the latest report regarding Campos and Shirakawa’s fictitious business filings. It is the DA’s policy not to comment on active investigations.
In addition to having a fictitious business filing for his council campaign, Campos also filed a form with the Recorder’s office for his 2004 school board race, which he lost. The owners listed for this fictitious business filing, which expired in 2009, were Campos, Shirakawa and Rosa Campos, mother to Campos and State Assemblymember Nora Campos.
Attempts to reach Rosa Campos were unsuccessful. A spokesman for Assemblymember Campos said she would have no comment on her brother’s political activities.