By Robert Haugh
Today is a ”special meeting” of the City Council. It will be a closed session so the public won’t be able to watch.
The official listing of the meeting is: “Public Employee Performance Evaluation pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b)(1) Title: City Attorney.”
It looks like an effort to oust City Attorney Brian Doyle.
Recently, 49ers team executive Jeff Fong and an attorney for the team Charmaine Yu pushed the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) to cut it’s legal budget. That’s the money the SCSA uses to defend itself. The team has currently filed seven lawsuits and legal actions against the SCSA and the City.
Councilman Kevin Park argued on behalf of the team. Park even said the SCSA should pay the team’s bills without proper documentation. Wow.
But Doyle made strong arguments against Park. The SCSA sided with Doyle and Park lost the vote 6-1.
According to someone who worked with Park on his Council campaign last year, Park doesn’t like to be shown up publicly.
Doyle has been a thorn in the side of the 49ers for years. He led the successful legal effort to stop the team from lowering its own rent. In 2018, the City won the $180 million arbitration award. And the team had to pay millions of dollars in City legal fees on top of that.
Doyle has also filed complaints against 49ers execs like Al Guido and Jim Mercurio for engaging in financial self-dealing and having financial conflict of interests.
Now, It looks like the team is turning up the heat on Doyle with the newly elected Councilmembers who are pro-49er. That would be Park plus Councilmembers Anthony Becker and Suds Jain.
Last year, 49ers owner Jed York spent $3 million to help get Park, Becker and Jain elected when the three of them had previously lost five city elections without his financial help.
Recently, the Santa Clara Weekly/SVVoice (SCW/SVV) has been writing negative Doyle stories and columns. The SCW/SVV gets some of their major advertising revenue from the 49ers.
SCW/SVV Publisher and former lobbyist Miles Barber has even called for Doyle’s ouster.
On March 23, 2021, Barber even told the newly elected Councilmembers that they must call for a closed session to get rid of Doyle.