Santa Clara Co. Board Tightens Use of County-Issued Credit Cards

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — In the wake of alleged inappropriate spending and charges by the board president, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to beef up its oversight of county-issued credit cards.

The P-Card, as it’s called, is a taxpayer-funded credit card meant to purchase work-related items such as office supplies. But an audit revealed Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. racked up more than $25,000 in unauthorized charges at restaurants, casinos, and golf courses.

Acting County Counsel Lori Pegg said in no instance are the P-Cards for personal purposes “in any situation,” regardless of whether the individual plans to reimburse the county or not.

County Supervisor Ken Yeager said the increased oversight all about creating more transparency.

“I believe our number one priority must be to restore the public trust in the county’s elected officials and we also need to let the public know that the type of misuse we’ve seen will never be repeated,” he said.

Shirakawa, who has reimbursed the county for inappropriate charges, had no comment. His year as board president ends on December 31st.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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