His lewd and despicable conduct notwithstanding, Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner truly set off a political firestorm earlier this year when he asked taxpayers to cover his legal expenses. In terms of public outcry, such a brazen request was arguably the straw that broke camel’s back.
According to the Contra Costa Times, another must be added to the list: former Santa Clara County supervisor George Shirakawa Jr.
Shirakawa’s rap sheet is lengthy: in March of this year, the former county official pleaded guilty to five felonies and seven misdemeanors mainly surround his use of illegal and unscrupulous campaign tactics.
Shirakawa’s charges also include perjury on state election forms and the misappropriation of both taxpayer funding. He faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
In his official statement of resignation, Shirakawa admits that he has “suffered from depression and a gambling addiction” for years. He attributes his untreated gambling problem to a string of bad decisions that he “deeply regret[s].”
But apparently deep regret doesn’t pay the bills: Shirakawa is now seeking representation from the public defender’s office.
His request has outraged the community. Critics have alleged that he is effectively stealing from them twice. And appointing a public defender may prove difficult given the circumstances: Shirakawa once maintained oversight over the public defender’s office and in fact led the move to appoint its head director, Molly O’Neal.
Critics are holding out that the public defender’s office will deny his request on the basis of a conflict of interest.
Read the full article at the Contra Costa Times.