By Robert Haugh
An interesting thing happened during the final days of the trial earlier this month when a group of Asian residents sued the City to create new council districts in Santa Clara.
According to sources who attended the trial, it was discovered during testimony that Jeannie Mahan, the sister of councilwoman Patty Mahan, helped the plaintiffs suing the City. Wow.
An expert witness for the plaintiffs, demographer Dave Ely, said during his cross examination by one of the lawyers for the City that Jeannie Mahan drove him around Santa Clara. She helped Ely draw the plaintiff’s seven-district map. That raised a lot of eyebrows on the City’s side when it was said in the courtroom. That was the map that got rid of the directly elected mayor. Some people thought it was politically motivated.
Jeannie Mahan and Patty Mahan sat together during the trial. Interestingly, they sat with the plaintiffs and not the City as we reported.
It looks like the Mahan sisters were working against the interests of the Mission City. Wow. That’s a shame. The lawsuit has millions of dollars at stake for the City. The damages haven’t been announced yet and the City still has the option to appeal.
So if Jeannie Mahan was working with the plaintiffs against the City, is this why Patty Mahan would not vote to appoint a candidate to replace disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta? A lot of people watching the trial, thought an appointment would help the City show that the council was ethnically diverse. Of the six finalists for the council appointment, five of them represented ethnic groups that are underrepresented on the council. It was missed opportunity.
Jeannie Mahan has become increasing political recently. As we reported months ago, she was the co-chair of the Santa Clarans for Good County Government, Supporting Caserta for Supervisor 2018. That was an independent expenditure committee that got big contributions from the 49ers and developers to help Caserta’s campaign.
Fortunately for the Mission City, Jeannie Mahan was not successful this year in her political efforts to create seven council districts for Santa Clara or get Caserta elected Supervisor.