San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales indicted
Charges of conspiracy, bribery, embezzlement
and destruction of government documents
Mayor Ron Gonzales, right. (File photo)
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
June 22, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) - San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales was booked
this morning on charges of conspiracy, bribery, embezzlement and
destruction of government documents, according to the booking
sheet filed after he surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff's
Gonzales' spokesman David Vossbrink confirmed today that the
mayor had been indicted on six counts but said Gonzales had not
seen the indictment and would not comment except to maintain that
he has broken no laws.
"The mayor has said he has done nothing wrong. He intends
to finish out his term,'' Vossbrink said. Gonzales and his budget
aide Joe Guerra posted bail this morning pending a court hearing
on Monday, Vossbrink said. Vossbrink has referred further questions
to Gonzales' attorney, Allen Ruby, who was not immediately available
The Santa Clara County district attorney's office is holding
a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the results of a
grand jury investigation into the Norcal Waste Systems deal involving
Gonzales, and prosecutors said in a statement they would not comment
before the news conference.
Gonzales has been under fire for a year after a Santa Clara County
civil grand jury issued a report blasting him for a so-called
backroom deal with Norcal in 2000 that resulted in the City Council
raising garbage rates by 9 percent in May 2003. Gonzales has claimed
he did not break any laws and was trying to avoid labor unrest
among the city's garbage haulers when he agreed to increase Norcal's
contract to meet any wage increases.
News of the mayor's arrest prompted calls for him to step down.
Both of the San Jose City Council members running to succeed Gonzales
called for his resignation or possible removal from office this
"My hope is that Mayor Gonzales does what he knows is right
for the city and steps aside,'' Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez said.
Chuck Reed, who along with City Councilman David Cortese called
for Gonzales to resign back in December, said he believes the
mayor should step down or be removed from office.
"I thought there were sufficient facts at that time and
I still believe that,'' Reed said.
Councilman Ken Yaeger also called today for Gonzales' resignation.
Cortese re-affirmed his belief that the mayor "needs to
"The dark clouds over City Hall have become a storm. He
needs to fight this from his living room, and not from the 18th
floor of City Hall,'' Cortese said.
Both Chavez and Reed called for the City Council to appoint an
interim mayor for the remainder of Gonzales' term, which expires
on Dec. 31.
Both also said they do not want the job because of their mayoral
campaigns. They were the two top vote-getters in the June 6 election
and are facing one another in the November runoff.
"I think it ought to be somebody who's not going to be a
partisan,'' Reed said.
Reed suggested City Councilwoman Linda LeZotte because she is
termed out at the end of the year and her successor was elected
earlier this month.
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