SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Prosecutors say a former director at San Francisco State University and a local vendor are facing a total of 246 felony charges in connection with an alleged bribery scheme on campus.
District Attorney George Gascon said 68-year-old Robert Shearer, SFSU’s former director of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety and 47-year-old vendor Stephen Cheung, who owns Chemical Hazards Material Technology, appeared in court Wednesday to face charges for their alleged roles in the scheme. They did not enter pleas and were ordered to return to court for their arraignment on Friday.
“There was a combination of the company overbilling and then there was a school official taking money for his own personal benefit,” Gascon said.
According to the D.A. Shearer faces 59 counts of commercial bribery as well as 59 felony counts of accepting a bribe.
Prosecutors said Shearer accepted bribes from Cheung in exchange for approving multiple payments to Cheung’s waste disposal company totaling millions of dollars and renewing Cheung’s contract with the university.
Cheung was arrested this week after leading police on a high-speed chase and is facing similar charges.
Cheung allegedly gave Shearer a Volvo car, paid for overseas plane tickets and cash totaling more than $180,000 from 2002 to 2009.
If convicted on all counts, both suspects could be sentenced to over 100 years in prison.
Gascon said it’s troubling that the university lost millions of dollars on this scam while students saw tuition rise year after year because of budget cuts.
Both men are being held in custody on $5 million bail.
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