DA's office announces guilty plea and sentencing of corrupt SFSU waste removal contractor

The District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday the sentencing of an owner of a waste disposal firm who pleaded guilty to bribery scheme.

Stephen Cheung was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison in connection with a bribery scheme that Cheung's company had with a San Francisco State University employee, District Attorney's Office spokesman Max Szabo said in a statement.

Robert Shearer, SFSU's environmental health and occupational safety director, allegedly accepted numerous bribes from Cheung over a seven-year period in exchange for Shearer approving multiple payments to Cheung's company totaling millions of dollars in university money. The bribes were also meant to ensure that Cheung's contract with SFSU would be renewed annually.

Cheung pleaded guilty to giving bribes to Shearer this week, including a Volvo and cash payments totaling over $180,000 beginning in 2002 and ending in 2009, Szabo said.

Shearer's case is ongoing and he faces dozens of felony counts related to the case.

Shearer's wife has also run afoul of the law. In 2013, she was arrested on suspicion of burglary at the university, where she worked as a records supervisor and police dispatcher.

Cheung pleaded guilty to the bribery counts and a white collar crime enhancement and has made an initial payment of $150,000 in restitution to SFSU. Another restitution hearing is scheduled for May 28.

At the time the case was charged in 2013, District Attorney George Gascon said it was troubling that at a time when students are dealing with ever-increasing tuition hikes, these two men “were getting rich off the university's dime.”

“These crimes erode the public trust and the faith the community has in government,” he said Wednesday. “If you compromise this trust, you will be held accountable.”

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