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County supervisor resigns, plans to plead guilty to felony charges
March 01, 2013, 05:00 AM Bay City News Service
Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa today announced his resignation after he was charged with a dozen felony and misdemeanor counts including perjury and misuse of public funds.

Shirakawa was charged Thursday with four felony counts of perjury, felony misuse of public funds and seven misdemeanors related to campaign finance violations.

The supervisor said he plans to plead guilty on March 18 to the charges, citing depression and a gambling addiction for his actions.

A criminal complaint filed in court by Santa Clara County prosecutors states that in his school board and supervisor campaigns, Shirakawa did not account for tens of thousands of dollars in expenditures he made at casinos.

"Unfortunately, my gambling addiction went untreated for too long which led to bad decisions and actions that I deeply regret. I have been in ongoing medical treatment for my addiction and depression," Shirakawa said in the statement announcing his resignation.

"Addictive behavior is not an excuse for my conduct, there is only one person responsible for my conduct and that person is me," he said.

Among the misdemeanor charges are allegations that Shirakawa failed to file timely semi-annual financial statements and received cash contributions of more than $100.

"I will always be grateful for the immense ongoing support from my community, and it has been an honor to work on their behalf to achieve positive improvements to their quality of life," Shirakawa said.

"To all my constituents, I am truly sorry for my actions and for any pain I have caused you," he said.

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