By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara City Councilmember Kevin Park finally included income on his Form 700.
That’s the Statement of Economic Interest that all California elected officials are legally required to fill out accurately.
The issue was first brought to public attention on June 7 by former City Attorney Brian Doyle.
“There are some serious inconsistencies in official filings by Councilmember Kevin Park that at best indicate an unacceptable level of deceit and at worse perjury,” said Doyle.
Doyle wanted the Council to allow Park to explain himself. But the request failed on a 5-2 vote.
The 49er Five rejected Doyle’s request saying the former City Attorney had a conflict. Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe voted in the minority.
Then on June 21, Santa Clara resident Craig Larsen made the same request. Larsen said he had no conflict.
Here’s Larsen’s full statement from the Council meeting.
On Tuesday, July 12, Larsen came before the City Council and said that Park had amended his two Form 700 statements.
But Larsen still wants Park to explain himself.
“While these amendments may correct prior submitted data, they do not address the nature of the inconsistent data,” said Larsen.
“There is the matter of the data and there is the matter of the ethics and restoring the public trust. Why did it take so long to correct them?”
“It should not take petitions from the public for electe officials to do the right thing.”
Park remained silent.
Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy argued that Park’s issue is an FPPC one, not the Council’s jurisdiction.
But Acting City Attorney Steve Ngo disagreed.
“There’s a Code of Ethics and Values that the City relies on and plausibly there’s jurisdiction,” said Ngo.
“For questions like these we err on a broader view of jurisdiction, especially when the intent of it is to all the public to participate in asking that agenda items be considered.”
Despite that, the 49er Five decided they wanted to keep Park from publicly addressing his missing income and lack of transparency again.
Gillmor and Watanabe voted to allow for public discussion but lost.
Editor’s Note: The 49er Five are Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park.
Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to elect Becker, Jain and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections. Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team recently without reporting them.
The 49er Five meet with the team on an almost weekly basis and have voted to help the team win millions of dollars in concessions from the City since December 2020.