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.
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?