By Robert Haugh
Recently, Mayor Lisa Gillmor won another legal battle.
Gillmor first won a frivolous lawsuit against her in 2019. That decision was upheld by an appellate court last week.
The lawsuit wrongly claimed Gillmor didn’t report all her income on her Form 700. That’s a form all elected officials are required to fill out annually.
Gillmor did report all her income according to Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen. And Superior Court Judge Mark H. Pierce agreed.
But the 2019 Superior Court decision was appealed.
Last Friday, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal voted 3-0 to side with Gillmor.
It was first reported in the Metropolitan News Enterprise.
Gillmor’s attorneys used an anti-SLAPP legal defense — a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Regular readers of this site know all about it.
The lawsuit was filed by Brian Exline. He was a Santa Clara University Law School student at the time.
But no one believes Exline paid for the lawsuit. So who did?
Here’s what Stand Up for Santa Clara’s Burt Field wrote in an opinion piece:
Now, McManis Faulkner, a major San Jose law firm, is filing the lawsuit against Mayor Gillmor on behalf of Brian Exline — a Santa Clara University law student. It’s not believable that Mr. Exline is paying the firm. So who is? Is it the 49ers? Is this the equivalent of “dark money” being used in our judicial system?
Exline has never said who paid for the lawsuit or the expensive appeal. Hmmm.
In fact, Exline has never publicly spoken on this issue and has never been quoted in any news story. Double hmmm.
We tried to contact Exline in 2019 and earlier this year. He has not responded to numerous emails and calls.
In the court papers, Gillmor’s attorneys claimed that Exline didn’t even live in Santa Clara and had no standing to sue. Exline’s attorney’s never disputed the claim. Wow.
Exline has moved back to his hometown of Fresno.
Exline now works for Fresno County District Attorney, Lisa A. Smittcamp.
Smittcamp has also not responded to requests for comment.