Last seen marching boldly in his pinstriped suit, former Santa Clara County Board President George Shirakawa Jr. shuffled into the basement of criminal court Wednesday in a faded red jail jumper, his hands shackled to his waist, his elastic waist pants sagging and his hair tousled.

Shirakawa, 51, is serving the first month of his yearlong sentence in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where according to the inmate-locator system he is currently being held in the infirmary. An attorney assigned to his case said he believes he is being treated for sleep apnea.

Shirakawa's detention has not ended his legal woes. The former county supervisor from San Jose's east side is facing trial on an additional felony charge that he engaged in illegal campaign tactics in 2010 to get his friend Xavier Campos elected to the San Jose City Council.

On Wednesday, Shirakawa made an unexpected appearance on that case -- dubbed "Shirakawa 2" by prosecutors -- amid a bustling master calendar call with attorneys lining up future court dates and deputies ushering inmates in and out of court. The longtime politician convicted of corruption, perjury and gambling away public funds had attempted to opt out of appearing in Department 24 on Wednesday, but the paperwork waiving his constitutional right to appear got lost in the shuffle.

There were no cameras in the courtroom for Shirakawa's unexpected appearance, which provided the public with its first glimpse of where fate has landed the man entrusted over the years as a school board member, city councilman and county supervisor. Shirakawa's red-colored jail garb signifies he is being held in "administrative segregation." That means when he's in a cell he is by himself, let out for just one hour a day. He will eat alone in his cell, and because it is rare for inmates from Dublin to attend court in San Jose, will likely be transported with only the company of guards.

"He's isolated at all times," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. Nelson noted that Shirakawa's "notoriety" led to the decision to wall him off from other inmates.

For his part, Shirakawa seemed a bit bedraggled, but he beamed enthusiastically at a family member in court, sending several smiles her way throughout his brief appearance.

It is not likely he will appear in public again soon. Shirakawa's next pretrial hearing is set for Jan. 22, as attorneys for both sides prepare for trial.

Deputy District Attorney John Chase of the public integrity unit said he has no problem with the defendant waiving future appearances at routine hearings, if he so chooses.

"We don't object to him not being here," Chase said, noting the high cost to transport a single inmate 62 miles to and from the Dublin jail. "It's public money being used to guard him."

Contact Karen de Sá at 408-920-5781.