Watching the New City Council and Looking for Paybacks

By Robert Haugh

Last night, we tuned in to see if there was any report on the CVRA lawsuit. But there wasn’t any reportable action.

The City Council has to decide if they’ll appeal the case that they lost. On behalf of the Santa Clara residents, we hope they do as we’ve written about recently.

This will be an early test for the new City Council especially the newly elected members.

Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain and Kevin Park were elected when Jed York spent $3 million to win their 3 council seats.

None of them have ever won an election on their own before. In fact, together they’ve lost multiple times before York spent big bucks on their behalf.

York also spent over $600,000 to defeat Measure C in 2020. That was seen as an effort to help the CVRA lawsuit.

It would be natural for York to want a return on his investment. So here’s what we’re watching for.

  • Will Becker, Jain and Park payback York and others who supported them with their decision on the CVRA lawsuit?
  • Then will Becker, Jain and Park payback York on stadium issues like the curfew and lawsuits?

These are major issues all Mission City residents should watch for as we watch this year’s City Council meetings.

Stay tuned.


  1. Hold on JB. Let the council discuss what’s going on before you put your big nose in everything.

    I’m sure you’ll be buying rounds soon.

  2. Robert common on, you cannot be asking for another appeal of a case we have lost twice In court and have a tab of about 5 million dollars, enough is enough. So what I hear you saying is that if the new city council decides to not to spend any more tax payer money on this lawsuit it’s a bad thing??? I also see how you change the narrative, could we have settled this out of court for less money?? Did our City Attorney get a settlement offer that would have saved the city about 2 million dollars or not?? Did he tell the old city council and the city manager about this offer, yes or no??? I think these are simple Yes or No questions and I hope we get those answers sooner than later

    • Spot on, George.

      – As to a petition to the CA Supreme Court, that’s legally and financially, irresponsible as I believe any disinterested attorney would conclude after reviewing the appellate briefs and Sixth District opinion.

      – As to the settlement not taken and indeed hidden by the City Attorney, I am aware of no evidence (direct or inferentially), suggesting that the City Manager nor any member of Council knew that City Attorney apparently lied in public session that he had not been in receipt of any settlement offer where he in fact had. If the contrary is subsequently evidenced, that would be damning as anyone would agree. To date, all we have at present is that Doyle looks like he is a lone Wolf. Perhaps because he got to emotionally invested in a case and so lost his ability to advise his client objectively and dispassionately and the City will pay the price.

      – As to settlement leverage, well, that opportunity has flown the coop, I found it remarkable that otherwise bright, thoughtful community leaders (Eg Bob O’Keefe, Burt Field, the author of this blog, others), would espouse foregoing settlement discussions until AFTER issuance of the Sixth District’s opinion. Especially after the oral argument where there was no question that the City was on its heels. Moral of the story? As with Covid, by analogy, listen to the professionals, not those arm chair poster wanna be attorneys who render “legal analysis” based on, well, bullshit.

      – As to evidence not yet public, here are three pieces that can wrap up what I’ll call L’affaire Doyle. 1. The CVRA plaintiffs’ lawyer’s written settlement offer. We know, that offer was to settle for $2.8MM in plaintiffs attorneys fees. At the end of the day, likely a savings to residents of $1MM+.
      The date of that transmittal are critical. 2. All communications between Doyle and his co counsel, at least from the date the settlement offer was communicated. The City Council has an absolute right to these documents. I reasonably suspect that plaintiffs’ attorney at least copied Doyle’s co-counsel on the settlement offer transmittal. In turn, aware of their ethical obligations at a minimum, they must have reached out to Doyle to inquire as to City Council’s response to the settlement offer. Did Doyle lie to them also? As co counsel, they are equally on the hook for hiding the offer had they known it had not been conveyed. I trust the Council inquires from the City’s co counsel what did they know and when did they know it. 3. Finally, there is the very odd matter of resident and former candidate Bob O’Keefe’s public objection (on or about December 15, 2020), as to the City failing to include required ADA wording in its notice for that meeting. Why was this objection raised as to this meeting and who, if anyone, reached out to O’Keefe to make such objection? Seems a simple matter to pose the question to O’Keefe.

      – as to the 49ers, can someone, anyone, explain how the 49ers are responsible for Doyle’s conduct in the CVRA matter? That’s all that is presently at issue. To date, this Council, to my knowledge, taken no action that favors the 49ers. None. So, there is no basis to suggest that any action taken by any council member beginning in this term has anything to do with any quid pro quo nor payback to the 49ers.

      We’ll see.

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