By Robert Haugh
This happened a couple months ago. But it’s important and interesting.
On April 18, 2018, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) ruled that the Stadium Manager for the 49ers stadium management company must fill out Form 700 — just like an elected official. It’s the form that lists financial interests so the public knows if a decision maker has a conflict of interest when doing the public’s business.
Here’s the FPPC advice letter.
Here’s the City’s interpretation of the FPPC advice letter from the May 7th City press release:
… the Stadium Authority Board granted the 49ers Management Company full authority to procure and award contracts contracts up to $250,000 on the Authority’s behalf, to purchase supplies, equipment and services for the Stadium and its operations…
This means that the individual who works for the 49ers Stadium Management Company who makes procurement decisions on behalf of the City’s Stadium Authority is subject to the Authority’s Conflict of Interest Code.
That individual is Jim Mercurio, the 49ers Vice President of Stadium Operations & General Manager.
We took a peek at Mercurio’s Form 700.
He lists his salary of over $100,000 as coming from the 49ers Management Company.
But Mercurio also makes some dough from the NFL for “Super Bowl consulting” in the range of $10,001-$100,000.
He has a few investments that he publicly reported. They’re all in range from $10,001-$100,000:
- SV Angel Fund (stock in Pinterest)
- DYA 2015 & 216 (investment in startup technology companies)
- VenueNext (sports and entertainment technology integrator)
We hear from City Hall sources that City Attorney Brian Doyle gets the credit for pushing for this to happen as a way to increase transparency. Kudos to Doyle.
Doyle also gets a lot of credit for writing the “dark money” law that the majority (not all) of the City Council wanted to put in place. It was adopted in May, 2018.
That law will prevent the notorious dark money group BluPAC who was connected to the 49ers from messing around in Santa Clara elections like they did in 2016.
Looks like 2018 is the year when the City forced the 49ers to be more transparent with contracts and politics. Kudos to the City.