Santa Clara City Council Won’t Discuss Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal’s Gifts from the 49ers

By Robert Haugh

Former Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle was back again last night.

This time, he raised issues about how Councilmembers Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal got gifts from the 49ers.

Hardy and Chahal attended a 49ers game on November 15, 2021. It was a Monday Night Football game against the Rams. Nice.

“No one can attend a game at Levi’s Stadium without some type of ticket or pass,” said Doyle.

But Hardy and Chahal got into the game and did not pay. Wow.

Doyle says they violated a state law that requires them to declare a gift from the 49ers.

And they violated a Santa Clara law that prohibits lobbyists, like the 49er execs, from giving any gifts of any value to any Councilmember.

Plus, they violated Santa Clara’s City Council gift policy. Triple wow.

Hardy and Chahal said they were there to officially view game operations. But there was no City Council action authorizing them to do that. 

(Note to Jed: I’d like to view game operations for free too next time the Rams are here. Are drinks included? DM me).

Mayor Lisa Gillmor pointed out that the day after Hardy and Chahal went to the game, the Council changed the stadium curfew at the team’s request.

“This isn’t a Brian Doyle issue,” said Gillmor. “This is actually a real community issue.”

Gillmor said residents have noticed how the 49ers meet regularly with Councilmembers. Then the majority takes action to help the team, like changing the curfew.

And 49ers CEO Jed York spent $3 million in 2020 to elect Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain and Kevin Park. None of them had ever won a race in Santa Clara before.

But the 49er Five wouldn’t agendize the item. 

They said Doyle is threatening to sue the City for firing him without cause. So they can’t discuss his request even though it’s completely unrelated. Huh?

The vote was 5-2 with Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe in dissent.

The 49er Five used the same excuse earlier this month about Doyle suing the City. 

On June 7, Doyle asked Park to explain why he was not reporting his income.  All Councilmembers are legally required to do it on state Form 700.  

The 49er Five protected Park on a 5-2 vote and wouldn’t agendize the item. Gillmor and Watanabe again dissented.

But these issues may make it to the agenda anyway. 

Long-time Santa Clara resident Craig Larsen spoke during public comment.

He said he was stunned as he watched the 49er Five reject Doyle’s concerns about Park weeks ago.

“It just felt wrong to me,” said Larsen.

So Larsen is submitting Doyle’s questions about Park for the Council to accept at its next meeting. “And I have no legal entanglements with the City,” said Larsen.

Will the 49er Five come up with another excuse? 

Stay tuned.


  1. Scandalous behavior by the Jed York Santa Clara Council 5 members! Selfish tactics but I’m sadly not surprised. To think that Karen Hardy is a Teacher in SCUSD is even more upsetting, I would have expected better.
    Thank You Brian Doyle, Kathy Watanabe and Mayor Lisa Gillmor for standing up and trying to do what’s best for our City. I love our Team the 49ers just very disappointed in what the owners are doing to Santa Clara

  2. Amazing! Go to PRA 21-780 and find former CM Santana’s meeting notes with Karen Hardy. Santana notes “NFL approval of SBL seats” “SCSA support for re-election” “telling me may not support” “what can we give them?” “Small win for them? – SBLs”

    What did Hardy and the 49er friendly vote to give Jed last night?

    SBLs on field.

    Small win? It’s huge!

    Hardy earned her PAC money last night. Good thing Santana took notes before Hardy fired her.

    Thank you PRA 21-780!

  3. I want the people of Santa Clara to know that we love our 49ers. When we complain about Jed York- the money hungry— it breaks my heart to realize what kind of owner our team has. He bought 3 of the worst people so that he could get everything he is getting. All the things that he agreed to on measure J, has been changed, thanks to the 5 idiots that vote for everything he wants—– That leaves our Mayer and Kathy W. against —Suds Jain, Anthony Becker, and Kevin Park. He then added Karen Hardy ad Raj Chahal. The first 3 cost J Y 3 million. I hope everyone that reads this will pass it along. Remember Santa Clara does not ha a –news paper. There are so many people that do not know what is going on in our City

  4. Karen and Raj have dug themselves a deep rabbit hole that will be hard to climb out of. They are on ropes. Cut the lifeline and file a grand jury complaint. They need to be held accountable for their misdeeds against the residents and city they are not serving. They have one master. Jed York.

  5. Last night, a majority of our city council known as the 49er Five, voted not for transparency and truth, but instead voted to run for cover. They denied Mr. Doyle’s request to have certain items agendized for no legitimate reason. This voting monolith, these sycophants to Jed York, give the appearance there is indeed something they are trying to bury, even if they denied Mr Doyle. They are giving Santa Clara residents the finger. They are rogue, making up things as they go along to suit their needs or bury their misdeeds. Ironically, they fired the city attorney and now get milk-toast advice from a legal firm who should have advised their denial of Mr Doyle’s request violated his Constitutional rights ” to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. More money to be paid out eventually in lawsuits borne of the council’s ignorance and stupidity.

    Mr. Doyle, thank you from many Santa Clara city residents, including myself, for taking on those council members who are an embarrassment and so damaging to our city. That this block votes together on virtually every item just shows the complete lack of critical and independent thinking by any of the 49er Five that benefits only an organization called the San Francisco 49ers and Jed York. Please keep it up, Mr. Doyle, and please consider running for city council!

  6. Can the city clerk hear complaints about corruption? Obviously the part time city atty’s will be no help, by design. But laws are being broken with impunity.

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