49er Five Meet with Team Approximately Every Four Days to Discuss City Matters, Including Confidential Legal Strategy Reports SF Chronicle

By Robert Haugh

In some stellar reporting this weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle body slammed the 49er Five. 

Reporters Lance Williams and Ron Kroichick added up the number of meetings the 49ers have had with Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park. It’s 57 meetings that they’ve reported on their calendars. That’s an average of one meeting every four days. Wow.

It’s actually 58. But the two Chronicle reporters can’t be blamed for Park’s irresponsibility. It’s now 295 days since Park has failed to report his January, 2021 49er meeting.

Jain met most often with the 49ers according to the Chronicle. Jain has met with them 32 times so far, including five times in just one week in March. Double wow.

Becker attended 19 meetings. Hardy was close with 18. Park met 15 times. And Chahal had 13 meetings. 

The 49er Five have supported the team on almost all the issues where the team is fighting against the City and Santa Clara residents. The most dramatic move was firing former City Attorney Brian Doyle for no cause at the team’s request.

49er CEO Jed York spent $3 million last year to elect Becker, Jain, and Park. The three were 0-6 in previous city elections when they didn’t have York’s financial help.

But here’s the real eye-opening stuff from the Chronicle story.

Jain met with 49er PR attack dog Rahul Chandhok right after Doyle gave the City Council a confidential briefing on Santa Clara’s legal strategy against the team. Here’s what they wrote:

“Doyle briefed council members about the city’s litigation with the 49ers on Jan. 19. There are 10 different cases, including the lawsuit challenging the city’s move to terminate the team’s management of Levi’s Stadium.

For the new council members elected with 49ers backing — Jain, Becker and Park — this was their first inside look at the city’s legal strategy. The council meeting ended about 9 p.m. Jain sent his text to Chandhok seeking to “reconcile the different stories” the next day at 10:02 a.m.”

Triple wow. And I’m not the only one to think so. Here’s what the Chronicle reported:

“Bruce Budner, a veteran trial lawyer who teaches legal ethics at Berkeley Law, called Jain’s text ‘seriously problematic.’ Jessica Levinson, director of the Public Service Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, described the scenario as “‘stunning.’

‘Why would you put it in a text?’ Levinson said. ‘People are rarely this flagrant.’

According to state law, a public official found to have made such disclosures can be ordered by a court not to continue to do so in the future, can be referred to a grand jury proceeding and can face possible removal from office.

This year, Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe did not meet with the 49ers or share any confidential legal strategy with them.

Maybe Gillmor and Watanabe should be the only ones allowed to be in closed sessions when 49er items are discussed. 

Editor’s Note: You can read a limited number of SF Chronicle articles for free. But then you’ll have to subscribe. It’s Northern California’s biggest and best paper so it’s worth it especially if they continue to cover Santa Clara with excellent reporting. But as a courtesy, you can read the full article on the Stand Up for Santa Clara website.

19 comments

  1. At this point, these 5 councilmembers, who have met regularly with the 49ers, have formed a now incestous relationship with those running the team. They have lost most credibility with the community; the same community who will never trust this council majority to have the citizen’s backs when it comes to stadium issues and the 49ers. These 5 councilmembers are unfortunately being played like chess pawns by the Wall Street type, very high-powered attorneys and their razor sharp legal teams, working for the 49ers empire, who orchestrate and choreograph the marionette show of whomever they can use and abuse. That’s how these council members got elected in the first place.

    • Observer, actually I think the niners are playing chess and the 49er five are playing checkers. That’s how we got the team and stadium in the first place. The council members at the time thought they were going to build their legacy. Much like the downtown decision decades ago. They would do this by outsmarting their team of lawyers. We see how that worked out.

  2. “This year, Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe did not meet with the 49ers…” Gillmor and Watanabe are the only members on the council that campaigned to have the 49er’s come here in the first place. If it weren’t for the likes of Gillmor and Watanabe, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Suds and the rest are just trying to clean up the mess made by Gillmor and Watanabe. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57F4_X2PIJU

    • Ha Ha Jeff H. You forget chatty Patty, fat Jaime who no one has seen since Super Bowl 2016 and that whole damn council. Ha!! No one supported theft, wage salary discrepancies, broken promises.Think about that when blowing smoke about Suds and the rest…..

    • Jeffh, how do you conclude that selling out to the 49ers is cleaning up a mess? Letting them run the city is cleaning up a mess? Would not like to see the house you cleaned up, it would have to be condemned.

  3. This whole 49er five episode provides a new twist on the Trojan Horse story. Instead of getting the whole horse into the enemy stronghold they settled for only one part of the horse. The horses ass, times five.

  4. Lock them up. Even Suds as he transparently sells us out to Jed. Suds is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These five council members are poison to us and the city.

  5. When trying to make decisions, I try to get both sides of the story. That is why I had extensive discussions with Safe Santa Clara County (SSCC) which opposed the interim homeless housing for families on White Oak Lane. I also talked with housing advocacy groups and took at tour of the Lifemoves facility in Mt View. I do not reveal confidential information to the 49ers. It just that after I heard the City’s side of litigation, I wanted to hear the 49er side. I am completely transparent and all emails are done with my City issued devices which are produced in Public Records Act request. This is why a text that seems incriminating showed up in a PRA request.

    • …you got caught. As a councilmember and Stadium Authority member you are simply one member of the board. It is not appropriate for you or any member to act independently especially when dealing with with organizations that have contracts with the city or have several law suits against the city. The City is legally represented by the City Attorney’s office and City Manager/Stadium executive director, they are the only ones authorized to deal with the 49ers. Not you, Park, Becker, Chahal or Hardy. You may only act as an oversight board and discuss relevant info in a legal closed session or in public testimony. The 49ers are not your friends, they have used you and the others mentioned to the point that they have you breaking the law for their profit and gain. You have hurt the City of Santa Clara and will have to pay the price.

      • I didn’t get caught. Councilmembers Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal have been meeting regularly with the 49ers for 3 years now. I’m just following what I consider to be long-standing practice. Otherwise someone would have shut down those meetings long ago if they were illegal.

        • Better to resign now than face the wrath of your constituents, Buddy!
          Yer days destroying our city are done.
          Best take your 4 buddies 2!

        • in football you get penalized for interference. jed shoulda known better and so should you, suds. maybe you all need to sit down with a lawyer and talk about the penalties of selling out your friends.
          and you have.
          all 5 of you.
          sold out your friends.

        • Wow! Way to throw Hardy and Chahal under the bus, great friend you are (not)! Suds, your busted by your own actions and emails. It’s best to come clean now, remember the first informer gets the deal but you better hurry before Park or Becker beat you to it.

    • Say what you want, no one in Santa Clara outside of your buddies at the 49ers will believe you.
      There is an old saying, someone who has been around like yourself may have heard this before.
      Just in case you have not, get a notepad out and write this one statement down.

      “Actions speak louder than words”.

      Say whatever you want to say. But don’t waste your breath trying to convince me, or any other Santa Clara resident of your “Good intentions”, that ship has sailed.
      So by your actions alone…you and your four friends are not representing the people who voted you into office.
      Shame on you. You do not represent me, and never will.
      I have lived my life trusting people and it has served me well.
      Sadly in some cases, that trust is lost.
      Santa Clara needs to get that trust back.
      Just to be very transparent as well.
      I will not be meeting with the 49ers to discuss this subject.
      Burt Field

    • Obviously the SFCHRON thinks otherwise!
      They got legal input too! Not a good look for you Becker and Park on FRONT PAGE.
      Can you say MUGSHOT?

    • You were not transparent when you said that you could vote on “Downtown” or University related topics. You lied then and you are lying now.

  6. Doesn’t jed have a bail bonds account for his players? Better put in extra for his second string The 49er 5.

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