Finance Agency

Santa Clara County Down Another CFO

CFOs are dropping like flies—well, not this Fly—over at the County of Santa Clara offices. Last Friday marked the final hurrah in the tenure of Dave McGrew, the chief financial officer of Valley Medical Center (VMC) since August 2011. Word is McGrew was placed on administrative leave a couple weeks prior to his sayonara. While McGrew trotted out the boilerplate goodbye in an email to staff, citing a need for more time with his family, his admin leave was not voluntary, according to sources in the county. David Claude, the director of general accounting, will take over as interim CFO, which means the county now has temps staffing its two most important finance positions.

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Judge Orders County to Give $7 million in RDA Money to San Jose

Santa Clara County owes the city of San Jose nearly $7 million that was wrongfully diverted to county employee retirement accounts, according to a ruling handed down Friday by a Sacramento Superior Court judge. The ruling found that beleaguered county finance officials ignored “a half century of construction and application of California law governing allocation of tax increment financing.”

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County Investigates Finance Officials; Supervisors Watch Smith’s Response

County Executive Jeff Smith admitted Friday that significant “culture problems” exist within the county and an internal investigation has been launched into finance officials who may have covered up their role in facilitating crimes committed by former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. Meanwhile, Supervisor Dave Cortese told San Jose Inside that the Board is keeping close tabs on Smith’s “response and accountability.”

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County Finance Officials Caught in Lies, Enabled Shirakawa’s Deception

Based on numerous interviews and an extensive review of documents, Metro/San Jose Inside has learned that Vinod Sharma, county CFO and director of finance, and his second-in-command, Controller-Treasurer Irene Lui, repeatedly made false statements regarding how George Shirakawa Jr. avoided detection of his misuse of county funds. Sharma and Lui decided on their own to direct resources away from reviewing charge card expenses to focus on larger-scale audits in hopes of pleasing their superiors. And by blaming their subordinates and making confusing—if not cunningly calculated—statements at public hearings, Sharma and Lui seem to be more politically astute than some of the elected and appointed officials who listen to their explanations. The following is an excerpt from the full report, which can be found at —Editor

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