By Robert Haugh
The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is possibly investigating Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy for illegally accepting gifts from the 49ers and not reporting it.
The allegation was first made by former City Attorney Brian Doyle at the June 21 City Council meeting during public comment.
He gave the Council a detailed six-page report. Doyle wrote:
“The public records and statements by Councilmembers Chahal and Hardy indicate the following serious violations:
- Acceptance of gifts in the form of NFL game passes in excess of the legal limit of $520
- Failure to report the acceptance of gifts on their annual statements of economic interest (Form 700)
- Acceptance of gifts from lobbyists in violation of the City of Santa Clara Lobbyist Ordinance
- Violation of Santa Clara City Council Policy 050”
According to multiple reliable sources in the legal community, both Chahal and Hardy have sought the advice and help of legal counsel.
Wow. This means they take the charges seriously. Or they think they did something wrong.
Hardy and Chahal attended the 49ers Monday Night Football game against the Rams on November 15, 2021.
They both admit that they got into the game and did not pay.
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 49ers execs, from giving any gifts of any value to any Councilmember.
Plus, they violated Santa Clara’s City Council gift policy.
Hardy and Chahal said they were there to officially view game operations. But there was no City Council or Stadium Authority action authorizing them to do that.
Councilmembers Anthony Becker and Suds Jain attended a January 2 game to view operations. They say they purchased tickets themselves. That’s not good for Chahal and Hardy.
But Becker and Jain may also get some scrutiny for their attendance. Becker bragged about how he purchased inexpensive tickets in the “nosebleed” section.
According to the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith purchased cheap tickets to a San Jose Sharks game to cover up the fact that she was sitting in luxury suites with people who were lobbying her.
The day after the Monday Night Football game, all four Councilmembers voted to change the weekday stadium curfew that protects residents from late-night concerts.
The 49ers having been lobbying for that change for years even though that was a condition they agreed to when the stadium first opened in 2014.
The team could increase revenues it gets from concerts substantially.
Editor’s Note: Chahal and Hardy were contacted late yesterday and did not respond to questions. But if they respond today, the story will be updated.
Minor clarifications were made to this story shortly after publication.
[…] weeks ago, SCNO broke the story about a possible […]
I understand how Raj and Karen fell for the lie the 49ers were pushing: you gotta give something to get something. You think “everyone is doing it, so why not me too?” Also, “I can’t make a difference if I don’t get elected.” The only thing is, you don’t make a difference if you behave like anyone else would. Leaders need to lead.
[…] Santa Clara Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy posted a comment on the story about them receiving gifts from the 49ers. A few readers suggested I respond to it since it also included a vicious personal […]
FPPC Complaint No. COM-07222022-02189
Complaint on becker filed
***** This must be published unedited ****
Time and again you have been proven wrong about the lies you spread about others. You were accused of child abuse and if at that time someone called you a chiled abuser you would have been angry because the matter was within the legal process. (We never called you a child abuser at that time and we should not). This is a similar case, any resident has a right to complain to FPPC about an issue and the respondent has the right to reply to the accusations. While the FPPC is looking into this complaint it does not mean that the accusations are true. Both of us have replied to the FPPC complaint on July 5, 2022 and we are confident that we have not violated any FPPC gift laws. In the capacity of Stadium Authority Board members we were at the stadium on 11/15/2022 for an operational tour not as a game spectator. We are unclear why seeking legal advice is a problem.
You sent us an email on Thursday 7/21/2022 at 10:04 pm seeking our comments and published these fake accusations at 4:57 am on Friday 7/22/2022. You know that most people during these seven hours (10 pm to 5 am) are sleeping, but because you are biased and have an agenda, you published your version of the situation without facts or input from us.
You have also written the following on your blog:
” Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team recently without reporting them.”
If you had decency you would not make unfounded accusations. What gifts did we receive – can you please let us know? God has given us more than what we need and we are here to serve the residents of the city, not to take any gifts from anyone. Also note, both of us have not accepted gifts from 49er since we started our political stint in Santa Clara. Whatever events we have attended we have fully reimbursed 49ers or any other affiliated organizations. You probably have records of us reimbursing these organizations but you chose not to mention that fact because you have an agenda and operate at the behest of others.
Raj Chahal & Karen Hardy
Ya gotta love this statement:
“Also note, both of us have not accepted gifts from 49er since we started our political stint in Santa Clara.”
Shows how Raj and Karen view being electeds. Kinda’ like taking a job at the carnival juggling balls in between jobs. Take your balls and go home. Santa Clara doesn’t need anymore sideshows from either of you.
Raj, you really need to stop manspeaking for Karen Hardy, it’s chauvinistic and deamining towards women, or is this response from the new “Special Projects Unit” of Sanchez and Ngo our so called Interim City Attorney’s. Irregardless, you and Hardy have much more to worry about than an FPPC investigation!!!
Holy grammatical errors…. What subject does Hardy teach?
Are raj and Karen using perry mason – I mean Byron fleck as their attorney? Hope they gave him a good retainer!l.
“ While the FPPC is looking into this complaint it does not mean that the accusations are true. Both of us have replied to the FPPC complaint on July 5, 2022 and we are confident that we have not violated any FPPC gift laws.”
When the FPPC is “looking into this complaint” it means there is an investigation taking place. You can change the words any way you want. There is an FPPC investigation in progress.
You have to love this statement also
In the capacity of Stadium Authority Board members we were at the stadium on 11/15/2022 for an operational tour not as a game spectator.
Karen and Raj 11/15/2022 ???
Keep track of your lies, dates & timelines traitors
Thank you for being a place where residents can connect with other residents.
That said, I am grateful that so many Residents are now getting educated on just how bad this whole situation has been.
We are “Bleeding money” right now, and I believe the worst is set to come if we do not stop them from what they have planned.
Honestly I am not sure who I am more upset with? The tenant who rents a building from us. Or the 5 wanna be politicians who were voted in to represent US!!
They keep trying to tell us they have our “Best Interest” at heart.
Well to that thought, I am going to vote 5-2 against that. Or how about 4-3, or 3-3-1.
The next few months should be very interesting / and enlightening.
I do look forward to meeting more of you along the way.
Can’t help but wonder if the rebuttal would be the same if it was the Mayor and Kathy Watanabe who did this…
Where pray tell, is that moral high-ground Brian Exline when he’s needed?
Nobody is above the law no matter who they are, Donna. Raj and Karen broke the law. The Mayor and Kathy Watanabe didn’t.
Lock ‘em up!
Lock ‘em up!
Lock ‘em up!
Note to Bugsy Becker
A FPPC complaint to be filed today.