By Robert Haugh
City staff met with 49ers executives on April 15, 2021. The meeting did not go well.
49ers General Counsel Hannah Gordon sent a letter after the meeting to City Manager Deanna Santana attacking City Attorney Brian Doyle for comments he made at the meeting. Gordon says that the team won’t deal with Doyle anymore.
But Doyle responded immediately with his own communication to Santana and the entire City Council. Here’s what he said in his own defense:
Within the last hour the City Manager transmitted a copy of a letter from Hannah Gordon containing false and defamatory content without any context. Specifically I refer to the statement:
“The City Attorney gave a tirade orally, which he also submitted in writing for the minutes, that was so wild, unstable, and suggestive of violence that subjecting 49ers employees to Mr. Doyle any further would violate our commitment to protection from abusive conduct.”
Doyle says that he calmly read a statement and gave the team a copy of it so it could be added to the minutes of the meeting. Here’s Doyle’s statement to the 49ers for the record:
“I need to ask you about exactly what you folks meant when you told Councilmember Jain that you wanted me gone. Being from New York, I take the use of that word as a very ominous threat, as in the “sleeps with the fishes” kind of “gone”. And if it was only that you were trying to procure my disappearance from defending the litigation against the Stadium Authority so that you could engineer my replacement with a marshmallow as a new city attorney who will hand you a sweetheart settlement, what did you promise them in return?
No doubt the voting public would find it odd that elected officials would consult with the people who are suing the city over millions of dollars about who the city attorney should be, rather than consulting their own constituents. Did you offer to orchestrate a smear campaign against me to give them pretextual cover for engaging in such a politically self-defeating act? Please inform Mr. York that there are laws in this country against blackmail and influence-peddling. Just what kind of thugs do you folks work for?”
As we reported last week, Councilman Suds Jain revealed that the 49ers “Would like To see Brian Doyle gone.” That was two days before the April 15 meeting between the City staff and the team.
In Doyle’s email to the City Council why he read his statement.
As I am not the type of person who takes threats lightly, I had to let the 49ers know that they do not intimidate me with these types of threats. I have learned that the best way to deal with people who make threats is to call a threat for what it is, and that is what I did.
Doyle also accused Gordon of making up complaints to deflect from the real issue.
As I so accurately predicted in what I stated, the 49ers handed my statement to their spin doctors and came up with Ms. Gordon’s letter which entirely deflects from the content of my words and instead suddenly raises “complaints’ from 49ers employees that we never heard about before. They have no credible defense against what I said, so again they make a personal attack. More intimidation. Get the picture?
According to a few longtime Santa Clarans, this is the first time that a corporation has threatened a top City staff person. We’ve been hearing from residents that they’re surprised that the City Council is silent about it. Doyle closed his email with a direct message to the City Council.