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Judge Appears Skeptical of Case against Norcal and Gonzales

Date: May 29, 2007

Source: News Room

In the ongoing bribery case against former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and Norcal Waste Systems, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge John Herlihy appeared to be skeptical of the prosecutor's arguments. At issue is an Oct. 6, 2000 meeting whereby Mayor Gonzales allegedly agreed to pay Norcal $11.25 million to compensate them for switching to Teamsters Union workers. The defense argues that regardless of the events, Norcal would have been legally required to use Teamsters workers anyway. But, Deputy District Attorney Julius Finkelstein has cited a 1959 US Supreme Court case and two New York state apellate court rulings from 1903 and 1913 which held that bribery can exist even if the target does not receive money. But last week, Judge Herlihy rejected those arguments as failing to help in understanding the California definition of bribery. Last week's hearing was to decide on whether to have the grand jury indictment thrown out. It is not known when the Judge will issue a ruling.

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