Former San Francisco State University Director and Local University Vendor to be Charged with 246 Felony Counts for Bribery Scheme

April 24, 2013

Contact: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Robert Shearer, a former Director at San Francisco State University (SFSU), and Stephen Cheung, the owner of an environmental waste disposal firm that contracted with SFSU, were scheduled to be arraigned today on 246 felony charges for their alleged roles in a bribery scheme spanning over a seven year period.

“As SFSU students were seeing tuition increases each year, this high level university official and vendor were getting rich off the university’s dime,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “Bribery is a crime that violates the public trust and erodes the people’s confidence in government. My office is committed to prosecuting public corruption at all levels.”

Shearer is the former Director in charge of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety at SFSU. Cheung is the owner and operator of Chemical Hazardous Materials Technology (CHMT), a waste disposal firm responsible for hazardous waste removal at SFSU. According to court documents, Shearer, while in his official capacity as a Director at SFSU, allegedly took numerous bribes from Cheung in exchange for Shearer approving multiple payments to Cheung’s company totaling millions of dollars in state university money, and also in exchange for Shearer annually renewing Cheung’s contract with SFSU. Furthermore, Shearer allegedly perjured himself by repeatedly failing to report the income he received from Cheung on his annual Statement of Economic Interests filed with SFSU. Cheung allegedly gave bribes to Shearer, including a Volvo car and monetary payments, totaling over $180,000, beginning in 2002 and ending in 2009.

Defendant Shearer is charged with 59 felony counts of commercial bribery, 59 felony counts of accepting a bribe, five felony counts of making a contract in an official capacity by a financially interested person, and five felony counts of perjury. Defendant Cheung is charged with 59 felony counts of commercial bribery and 59 felony counts of bribing an executive officer. Both defendants also are alleged to have committed an aggravated white collar crime.

Shearer was arrested on April 18, 2013 at his residence in Fremont. Cheung was arrested on April 23, 2013 after a car chase that began at 46th and Taraval and ended with a car crash at 44th and Ulloa. Cheung took off on foot and was apprehended by the San Francisco Police Department and was immediately arrested. Both defendants are currently in custody, with bail set at $5 million each. Defendants’ arraignment was put over until Friday, April 26, 1:30pm in Dept 9. Under California law, both defendants face more than 100 years in state prison.

California State University Police Department Sergeant Michael Kinoshita is the investigator on the case. Assistant District Attorney Julius De Guia arraigned the case.