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.
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