george shirakawa jr.

Dear Supervisor Yeager,

I've read with interest the articles in the San Jose Mercury News about Mr. Shirakawa's questionable use of taxpayer funds on his expense report. Particularly the articles in the past few days have captured my attention, as I am writing large checks for property taxes on two homes I own in the County (both in your district). This makes me realize that while Mr. Shirakawa apparently has no regard for his misuse of taxpayer funds, I do, and I resent his misuse of my money very much.

I am a lawyer at Google, a company that is frankly flush with cash. Despite this, or more likely because of it, our corporate expense reporting process would never let me get away with the spending that Mr. Shirakawa has demonstrated. Every penny that I charge to my corporate credit card is scrutinized by at least one layer of management, and subject to robust internal audits. Receipts are required in most cases. And any charge that is not clearly business related is questioned and immediately reversed through payroll. Prior to working at Google, I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for nine years, and their expense report procedure was every bit as robust.

Mr. Shirakawa's misuse of funds would most likely lead to his termination in the private sector. The fact that he shows such brazen disregard for his actions is insulting to taxpayers, particularly when we are being asked to pass tax hikes, and the government is facing monumental shortfalls of funds.

I hope that you will continue to press for a full investigation into Mr. Shirakawa's misuse of taxpayer funds, and lead reforms to make sure that funds are spent in appropriate ways.

Thank you for your time, and best regards,
Travis Wise

[Here's a related article about the Port of Oakland allowing expense reports including strip club charges]

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