A former San Francisco State University department director facing bribery charges and his alleged co-conspirator pleaded not guilty today in San Francisco Superior Court, according to prosecutors. Robert Shearer, 68, the former director of SFSU’s Environmental Health and Occupational Safety department, pleaded not guilty today to more than 100 felony charges along with his alleged co-conspirator, Stephen Cheung, 47.
Shearer faces 128 charges — 59 counts of commercial bribery, 59 counts of accepting a bribe, five counts of making a contract in an official capacity by a financially interested person and five counts of perjury. Cheung, who allegedly gave Shearer at least $180,000 in money and other gifts, including a car and trips overseas, has been charged with 59 felony counts of commercial bribery and 59 counts of bribing an executive officer, prosecutors said.
Cheung owned the company Chemical Hazardous Materials Technology (CHMT), a waste disposal firm that entered into a contract with SFSU that was subsequently renewed annually, prosecutors said. Shearer approved payments totaling at least $4 million from the school to CHMT as well as the annual contract renewals, prosecutors said.
In exchange, the department director received money, trips to China and Singapore as well as a 1999 Volvo, according to the district attorney’s office. The two men are scheduled to return to court on May 9 for a status update, prosecutors said today. Bail remains set at $5 million for each of them and they face a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in state prison if convicted.
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