California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has launched an investigation into the actions of Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa as the result of a Metro Silicon Valley cover story by Josh Koehn:
Since taking office in January of 2009, Shirakawa has broken the law by not filing nine campaign disclosure forms showing how he has collected money to pay off a $110,000 debt from the 2008 campaign. In addition to this stunning lack of transparency, forms that Shirakawa did file during that campaign show a policy of nepotism in doling out more than $50,000 in campaign cash to a close friend, two of his daughters and the mother of one of his children.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney has started its own investigation to determine whether any criminal laws were broken.
In an editorial that ran earlier this week, the San Jose Mercury News urged the D.A. to file charges.
“Shirakawa’s failure to act despite repeated notifications from the registrar constitutes blatant abuse of the public trust,” it said. “The length of time this has dragged on, in our view, should be enough to merit more than a civil-penalty slap on the wrist.”