Witness: Mayor pushed union

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesBut the judge kept 55 key pages of testimony under seal, including that of Gonzales and his aide, Joe Guerra, saying he was worried that testimony could contaminate the jury pool and jeopardize the defendants’ right to a fair trial. Gonzales is charged with six felonies, including conspiracy, bribery, misappropriating public funds and falsifying records, over a secretly negotiated garbage contract that cost taxpayers $11.25 million. In the transcripts, Sangiacomo recounted an Oct. 6, 2000, meeting with the mayor in which he said Gonzales told him he wanted to see plant workers represented by the Teamsters, rather than the Longshoremen – at a potential cost of an additional $2 million a year. Guerra eventually pushed a 9 percent garbage rate increase through the City Council to cover the extra costs, but the council was not told the increase was due to labor costs. Gonzales faces up to eight years in prison if convicted. A trial is set for May 4, 2007, nearly five months after Gonzales is scheduled to leave office. SAN JOSE – Mayor Ron Gonzales wanted workers at a San Jose recycling company to be Teamsters – his political allies – and pressured the city’s largest garbage contractor to accept the union, even though the deal would cost the city more, newly released grand jury transcripts show. The transcripts were released Friday by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge. In them, Norcal Waste Systems’ Michael Sangiacomo testified in March that Gonzales “applied political pressure” to get the Teamsters union recognized at the recycling plant, rather than another union that would have worked for less. “Typically, when a mayor asks you do to something, it’s been my experience they ask because they really want you to do it,” Sangiacomo testified. Judge James C. Emerson ordered the release of more than 2,500 pages of grand jury testimony that led to the criminal indictment of the mayor, his top aide and Norcal. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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