Gonzales pleads not guilty in Norcal case
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
July 26, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) - San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales pleaded
not guilty today to six felony charges in connection with a scandal
over a city garbage contract.
Gonzales and aide Joe Guerra, along with Norcal Waste Systems,
entered the not guilty pleas today in Santa Clara County Superior
Their trial date was set for May 14.
"The court, with the agreement of counsel, will set the
trial date at May 14, 2007,'' Superior Court Judge James Emerson
That will be some 11 months after Gonzales, Guerra and Norcal
were indicted. When asked about the length of time until the trial,
prosecutor Julius Finkelstein said the amount of material the
defense attorneys must review played a large part in the setting
of the trial date.
"It's a very realistic trial date given the large amount
of discovery ... we're talking in excess of 100,000 pages,'' Finkelstein
Neither Finkelstein nor defense attorneys would comment further
on the specifics of the case, citing Emerson's gag order.
The next scheduled court date in the case is Aug. 10, at which
time Emerson will hear arguments about sealing the grand jury
Gonzales' term as mayor will expire on Dec. 31.
Gonzales has maintained he broke no laws when negotiating a contract
in October 2000 for garbage pickup and recycling services with
Norcal. He could face up to eight years in prison if convicted
of the conspiracy, bribery and falsification of documents charges
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