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CA: San Jose mayor pleads not guilty to felony counts - Ron Gonzales, Democrat
ap on Riverside Press Enterprise ^ | 7/26/06 | Rachel Konrad - ap

Posted on 07/26/2006 4:03:00 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

SAN JOSE

Mayor Ron Gonzales pleaded not guilty Wednesday to public corruption charges for his part in an alleged garbage-related scheme.

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Emerson set a trial date of May 14, 2007, nearly five months after Gonzales is scheduled to leave office. Attorneys on both sides said they'd need at least nine months to pore over more than 100,000 pages of documents and conduct interviews related to the case.

Prosecutors say Gonzales pressured Norcal Waste Systems Inc. into using Teamsters, instead of lower-paid union workers, at a recycling plant, and then secretly agreed to help the trash contractor recoup the extra labor expenses at a taxpayer cost of $11.25 million.

Gonzales was charged with six felonies in an indictment unsealed last month, including conspiracy, bribery, misappropriating public funds and falsifying records. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison.

Gonzales, 55, is serving his final year as a termed-out mayor in America's 10th largest city. He has denounced the charges as false and has vowed to finish out his term.

Dressed in a conservative black suit, Gonzales briskly walked out of the courthouse Wednesday and refused to comment.

Gonzales' lawyer, Allen Ruby, said Wednesday he will ask the judge to dismiss the case, but he couldn't elaborate because of a gag order in effect until at least Aug. 10.

The prosecutor, Julius Finkelstein, said there's "no legal basis" for dismissal.

"We think the charges are on very sound legal footing and are based on California and United States Supreme Court precedent," Finkelstein said.

The mayor's top budget aide, Joe Guerra, as well as lawyers for San Francisco-based garbage company Norcal, were indicted with Gonzales on June 21 for allegedly conspiring to defraud the public and misuse public funds. Guerra also pleaded not guilty Wednesday, and a Norcal representative pleaded not guilty on behalf of the corporation.

The indictment says Gonzales and Guerra agreed to pay millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to Norcal to help the company get through a labor dispute, but they failed to disclose that motive to the city council. Gonzales and Norcal, one of the largest solid waste companies in America, are also charged with bribery.

The handling of the garbage contract led city council members to unanimously censure the mayor in December. During a meeting amid hecklers and protesters at City Hall last month, the council passed a proposal asking the mayor to resign without declaring his innocence or guilt so that city business could continue without distraction.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; corruption; democrat; felonycounts; mayor; notguilty; pleads; rongonzales; sanjose

1 posted on 07/26/2006 4:03:02 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Woohoo!!!
[... Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust... ]


Now... how is that Peratagate thing coming along?


2 posted on 07/26/2006 4:39:58 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl

Now... how is that Peratagate thing coming along?


--

Good question. Hopefully soon, we will see a grand jury convening..


3 posted on 07/26/2006 4:42:40 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Did Shmelley ever get hit with any serious penalties for his misguided acts?
Or, if you quietly resign can you just get away with DemRat shenanigans?


4 posted on 07/26/2006 4:45:55 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl

Yup, even if you're not a Kennedy, you can get away with almost anything as long as you have a D by your name.

Nothing has happened to date and isn't likely too, unless Julie Lee squeals which is also unlikely.


5 posted on 07/26/2006 4:49:35 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge
Ron Gonzales, Democrat

Oh come on. You cant prove he's a Democrat. I mean, the article doesnt even mention his political affiliation. ;-D

6 posted on 07/26/2006 5:49:48 PM PDT by lowbridge (I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming, like his passengers.)
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To: NormsRevenge

speaking of whom, what's happening with the indictments? conviction in the horizon?


7 posted on 08/05/2006 1:18:48 AM PDT by lexloci
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To: NormsRevenge

There's that Democrat "culture of corruption" thing again.


8 posted on 08/05/2006 1:41:17 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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