Reporting Mike Colgan
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Pressure is mounting for the president of the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors to resign over questionable charges he made to a government-issued credit card.
George Shirakawa Jr. has been ordered to reimburse the county almost $20,000 in charges made to a county-issued credit card that were deemed inappropriate.
An audit revealed Shirakawa charged hotel rooms, meals, and golf outings over a four-year span.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone said just paying the money back isn’t good enough.
“If a robber robbed a bank, got caught and then decided that it was okay just to refund the money and walk away, we would think that that would not be proper,” said Stone. “I think the same thing is true for people who abuse public funds.”
Stone said County Executive Jeff Smith is also to blame for a lack of oversight. “I actually believe he was not aware of it, but he’s still responsible for it,” Stone said.
But Smith said the responsibility should not just fall on him. “I think a reasonable person would understand that with 15,000 employees in the organization that it’s impossible to know what each and every employee is doing each and every day,” he said.
Shirakawa, who is being investigated by the DA’s office as well as the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said he is cooperating with both inquiries.
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