Contractor Pleads Guilty to 118 Counts of Bribery Involving Former SFSU Official

The owner of an environmental waste disposal firm that contracted with San Francisco State University pleaded guilty to more than 100 counts of bribing a former college official with more than $180,000 over the span of seven years, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Stephen Cheung, 49, was found guilty of 59 counts of commercial bribery and 59 counts of bribing an executive officer, district attorney’s officials said. He also admitted to an enhancement of an aggravated white-collar crime, according to the district attorney’s office.

Cheung, owner of Chemical Hazardous Materials Technology, was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison, district attorney’s officials said.

He also made an initial payment of $150,000 in restitution to the university. A restitution hearing is scheduled for May 28, when the district attorney’s office will present evidence to make sure the college receives full compensation.

Cheung had bribed Robert Shearer, 70, former director of the university’s Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Department, between 2002 and 2009, according to the district attorney’s office.

Cheung gave Shearer $180,000 in payments and gifts including a 1999 Volvo and trips to China and Singapore, prosecutors said.

In exchange, Shearer allegedly used at least $4 million in university money to pay Cheung and renewed annually the waste disposal firm’s contract with the university, according to prosecutors.

Shearer was charged with 59 felony counts commercial bribery, 59 felony counts of accepting a bribe, five felony counts of making a contract with a financially interested person and five felony counts of perjury with an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement, prosecutors said.

He also allegedly did not report the money he received from Cheung in a Statement of Economic Interests filed with SFSU, according to the district attorney’s office.

Shearer was employed at SFSU from February 1994 to April 2009, university officials said.

Shearer’s next scheduled court appearance is on April 22.

Jamey Padojino, Bay City News

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