San Jose Council to discuss removing Gonzales
Gonzales claims innocence, faces 8 years behind bars
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
June 23, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) - The San Jose City Council will consider
taking action to remove indicted Mayor Ron Gonzales from office
at a special meeting on Wednesday, San Jose City Clerk Lee Price
said this afternoon.
Price said the meeting will discuss possibly removing Gonzales
from office as well as appointing an interim mayor and other issues
surrounding Gonzales' indictment this week on six felony counts.
A majority of the City Council has now publicly called upon Gonzales
to resign but the mayor has vowed to complete his term, which
ends Dec. 31.
"I believe in my God and know that justice will prevail,''
Gonzales said this morning in his weekly appearance on a Bay Area
"I know I will be proven innocent because I know I'm innocent.''
Earlier today, San Jose City Councilman Chuck Reed called upon
the council to take legal action against Norcal Waste Systems
to recover $11.25 million that a grand jury has alleged the company
received as part of "secret and illegal agreement'' with
"Even though the council majority approved (the money) there
were material facts that weren't disclosed,'' Reed said.
The attorney representing Norcal said the company has done nothing
wrong and would fight any city action.
"We certainly hope the city won't take such action because
there's no legal basis for them to do so,'' Norcal attorney Bill
Goodman said. "We're confident they wouldn't prevail.''
If convicted on all charges, Gonzales faces eight years in prison,
Santa Clara County prosecutor Julius Finkelstein announced today.
The mayor's aide Joe Guerra faces a possible sentence of five
years and eight months in prison, Finkelstein said.
Gonzales and Guerra, along with Norcal Waste Systems, are named
in a grand jury indictment alleging they conspired in a contract
deal that led to a 9 percent hike in city garbage rates in 2003.
Norcal received a total of $11.25 million in excess of its original
contract proposal as a result of "a secret and illegal agreement
between defendants Gonzales and Norcal,'' according to the indictment.
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