By Robert Haugh
We tuned into the Council meeting to listen to how many times the 49ers have sued the City. (The answer is five).
Then, we almost dropped our soda. The meeting started with City Attorney Brian Doyle announcing that the City had voted in closed session to sue the 49ers for the first time. Wow.
The vote was to initiate a lawsuit to take away the management of non-NFL events like Wrestlemania and concerts. The vote was 6-0 with Vice Mayor Patty Mahan absent. Mahan is the 49ers’ closest ally.
The City went through a lengthy presentation. Doyle had some harsh words about the 49ers. He said, “the 49ers’ performance as the management of Levi’s Stadium has fallen off a cliff, resulting in a wipe-out of $2.5 million of anticipated performance rent to be paid to the City.”
We learned that last fiscal year, the City got $18,000 from the non-NFL events. Wow. The 49ers say that this year will be zero. Double wow.
Doyle said a lot of interesting things. His first presentation is worth watching. It’s 7-8 minutes long.
This may have been the most interesting thing that Doyle said:
No doubt that after the Stadium Board’s actions tonight, the 49ers will attack me personally and continue their personal attacks on the City Manager and on the Mayor and Council. Please remember that these attacks are simply a deflection of their own failures and betrayal of the promises that the 49ers made to you the voters in getting you to approve Measure J. No matter what may come from these out of town billionaires who apparently don’t give a darn about the community that gave them their home field, I will not stand down as your City Attorney. I will stand for you as long as it takes to get this straight. You work too hard to keep Santa Clara the wonderful City it is, for me to do anything less.
City Manager Deanna Santana went into great detail about how the 49ers are violating state prevailing wage laws. She said they were able to document $85,000 of potential wage theft in one contract. Santana could not estimate how big the problem was or how much in wages could have been stolen from workers.
Because the 49ers have admitted to violating state wage laws, the Stadium Authority decided to take away the team’s ability to issue contracts for any amount. So all contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Stadium Authority board now.
Before, the 49ers could sign for contracts up to $250,000.
Councilman Raj Chahal tried to get the Board to agree to let the 49ers sign contracts for up to $50,000. He was really pushing it as you can see in this video. According to City Hall sources, this was the suggestion that 49ers exec Rahul Chandhok was pushing as a compromise.
But no one on the Board or the staff thought that Chahal’s suggestion was any good.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor shot down Chahal’s idea by saying: “We can’t in good faith to continue to give them money with no accountability, transparency, or compliance with our management agreement.”
Chahal did finally vote with the others to make it unanimous to eliminate the 49ers procurement authority.
Press Conference Today
The City sent out a press release last night that they will hold a press conference today with more information about the lawsuit.
This is clearly a developing story that we’ll cover.