By Robert Haugh
Suds Jain cannot vote on Santa Clara University (SCU) issues because his wife is employed there. So he has a conflict of interest.
Jain has known about this for four years. The issues came up because he’s a Planning Commissioner and SCU has major issues come before the commission.
But Jain has not discussed it during his City Council campaign, according to numerous people in the district and a review of his website.
We broke the story about his SCU conflict of interest on September 23.
Since then, Jain has been telling people in District 5 that his wife will retire soon and that he will be immediately able to vote after she retires.
In an email exchange, Jain’s wife, Lori, confirmed that she will retire from SCU in January, 2021.
We asked Jain if that means he believes he can vote on SCU issues as early as February, 2021. He replied by email: “Yes, my answer is yes.”
We checked with City Attorney Brian Doyle. He referred us to the State’s Conflict of Interest Code.
And Doyle wrote: “under subsection (c) it is 12 months since they last had a financial interest in the matter.”
So Jain mistakenly claims he can vote in 2021 if he’s elected to the City Council and his wife retires. He cannot do so until 2022.
That would be a big problem for District 5. A lot of decisions will be made involving SCU and the downtown in the next few years.
As we reported last year, SCU plans to expand its undergrads from around 5,500 to 6,000. That means more students in Old Quad neighborhoods.
The only other candidate in the District 5 race is Bob O’Keefe. He’s a board member of the Old Quad Residents Association.
O’Keefe’s home is not in the downtown area.
Downtown Development Conflicts, Too
Jain also has a conflict with downtown development issues because his home is in the area.
On Tuesday, we wrote about how Jain falsely claimed he could vote on downtown issues.
So, O’Keefe is the only candidate in District 5 who is free of conflicts of interest and can legally vote on downtown issues and SCU neighborhood impacts.
Editor’s Note: My family and I live in District 5 and not too far from downtown.