If George Shirakawa Jr. receives community service instead of jail time as punishment for his felony mail fraud, he can thank a judge with whom he’s shared a political relationship for more than a decade.
Ex-county supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. attempted to pull strings from jail last year, according to new court filings from his political mail fraud trial. And in what could become a showdown over the use of the Fifth Amendment, the District Attorney’s office plans to offer former San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos immunity in exchange for his testimony.
Sacramento’s most notorious lobbyist and San Jose’s shadiest council member each got slapped with fines by the state political watchdog.
In the end, it took longer to put former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. in jail than the time he actually served. But that might not be the case for long.
George Shirakawa Jr.’s next day in court got kicked back six months to Sept. 15, meaning the ex-county supervisor could be nearly four months out of jail before his political mail fraud trial begins. That may or may not be a good thing for other people involved in the case.
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.
A search of George Shirakawa Jr.‘s home the day before Thanksgiving turned up evidence that suggests Xavier Campos’ 2010 City Council campaign paid for materials to create a fraudulent political mailer that helped the San Jose city councilman get elected. The mailers portrayed Campos’ opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, as a communist to East San Jose’s Vietnamese voters, and Shirakawa’s DNA was found on a stamp affixed to one of the mailers. Campos ended up winning the primary election against Carrasco by 20 votes and later won the runoff.
Getting San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos to agree to an interview is a difficult proposition. Unless you’re the New York Times or NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo. The latter scored an on-air interview Thursday with the councilman, who invoked the Fifth Amendment in front of the grand jury last month. In his interview, Campos claims that he had nothing to do with a fraudulent political mailer that helped his defeat his opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, in the 2010 council race. He also said he took the Fifth because he doesn’t trust the District Attorney’s office. But, according to NBC’s legal expert, Campos might have said too much, and he could be recalled in front of the grand jury.
The Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) confirmed Friday that it has launched an investigation into San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos. Gary Winuk, chief of the FPPC’s enforcement division, says that his office began looking into Campos’ 2010 City Council campaign after San Jose Inside reported that the councilman used the same campaign treasurer, Linda Delgado, as former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr.
Xavier Campos is a public servant who doesn’t like to talk to the media. For this reason, and maybe a few others, the San Jose councilman refused to answer Fly’s questions about his former campaign treasurer, Linda Delgado, who handled accounting duties for his council race in 2010. Treasurers aren’t usually a hot topic of conversation, but Delgado also happens to be one of the absentee accountants who facilitated George Shirakawa’s embezzlement of more than $100K in campaign contributions.