SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Despite his emotional apology in the courtroom, a Superior Court judge sentenced disgraced former Santa Clara County Superivsor George Shirakawa, 53, to 45 days community service for sending out a fraudulent campaign mailer in 2010.
I accept the responsibility for the creation of a flier that juxtaposed a picture of Council member [Magdalena] Carrasco with a flag of the Republic of Vietnam,” he said.
The flier may have convinced voters within the Vietnamese community to vote for Carrasco’s opponent and Shirakawa’s friend; Javier Campos. Carrasco ended up defeating Campos in his bid for re-election.
Shirakawa’s DNA was found on the mailer and he had pleaded no contest to the false personation-illegal campaigning charge against him.
Friday’s sentencing was a dramatic ending to a long-running political scandal in San Jose. Superior Court Judge Ron Del Pozzo threatened to hold the prosecutor in contempt of court for rushing to the defense of the defense attorney.
Both the defense attorney and the prosecutor in the case objected to the way the judge handed down the sentencing and said there was misinformation in the judge’s ruling. At one point, prosecutor John Chase tried to stand up to correct the record, but the judge ordered him to sit back down and threatened to hold him in contempt of court.
The District Attorney’s office has since stated they will file a written statement of clarification to some of the information the judge disclosed during the court appearance.
“We don’t accept some of the assertions that the judge stated on the record,” said Jay Boyarsky from the Santa Clara County DA’s office.