Irene Lui

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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