49er Friendly Council Majority Reject Request to Discuss and Investigate Gifts Team May Have Given Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara City Council won’t have a public discussion of the gifts that Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy allegedly received from the 49ers.

Last night, the 49er-friendly Councilmembers voted down the request that came from resident Lee Broughman.

They also rejected a request to have District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office look at how Chahal and Hardy may have violated the City’s lobbyist and gift rules.

The vote was 3-2. Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park voted to reject the request.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe voted to support it.

Chahal and Hardy abstained from voting because it was about them they said. It’s the first time they’ve abstained on this issue.

Santa Clara Councilmembers Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal

Chahal tried to dismiss the issue. Reading from a prepared statement, he said it was just created by a “blogger” (Thanks for the credit, Raj. But you have a short memory.) 

The issue was first brought up by former City Attorney Brian Doyle in June.

Doyle did a lot of research and documented his complaint at a City Council meeting just three months ago.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) dismisses complaints they think are frivolous according to a local attorney.

But they opened a case because they thought there was enough merit to the complaint.

Gillmor suggested that the DA should investigate the non-FPPC issues that Doyle raised. 

Doyle documented how Chahal and Hardy violated a Santa Clara law that prohibits lobbyists, like the 49er execs, from giving any gifts of any value to any Councilmember.

Doyle also documented how they violated Santa Clara’s City Council gift policy.

According to Gillmor, interim City Attorney Steve Ngo and his firm Lozano Smith cannot enforce the City’s policies because they’ve given legal advice to Chahal and Hardy.

Editor’s Note: Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to elect Becker, Jain, and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections.


  1. Firstly, I want to send Mr. Chahal condolences on the recent passing of his father as was brought up at last night’s city council meeting. Mrs. Hardy did a very nice tribute about his dad’s life.

    Mr. Chahal and Mrs. Hardy, you have been very dedicated to the community and our city over the years. I believe both of you to be good people.

    If I were in your shoes regarding the tickets, I would just pay back whatever the value of the ticket to the 49ers, and simply say it was a mistake and misunderstanding, as you both have said was the case. It probably would never have gotten to this ugly point.

    I do question why you would have needed a $500+ entrance ticket if you were both there in your official capacity as board members of the Stadium Authority and at that Monday Night football game, and there to do an inspection of the facility, but not attend the game itself.

    As Board Members of the Stadium Authority and council members representing the best interest of the citizens of Santa Clara, you are allowed entrance at any event to do an inspection, no ticket is needed.

    This would be no different for any police officer, fire fighter, or emt working in their official capacities at the game, and obviously not needing a ticket for entrance to the stadium, accepting a $500 ticket which could only be seen as a freebie gratuity. In actuality, that ticket was worth more than $500. It was a Monday Night Football Game against arch rivals, the Rams, and it was 95% sold out.

    Hypothetically, If you were both there in your official capacities, and actually did need an entrance ticket as you stated, why would the 49ers gift you some of the most expensive tickets rather than tickets nosebleed section that go for so much cheaper, and why would you accept such expensive tickets?

    Raj and Karen, as councilmembers, what would your reaction be if it was found a police officer working at the game had accepted gratuities from the 49ers? I believe you would call for them to be severely disciplined or fired. Just because you are not wearing police uniforms, the material facts of what happened are no different. Council members and police officers are rightly held to a much higher standard to prevent quid pro quo and compromising situations. It just looks bad and flies in the face of city policy on accepting gratuities.

    In my opinion, I believe the 49ers absolutely knew what they were doing was wrong, and they set you up to have something to hold over your heads.

    Hitching your wagons to the 49ers and aligning yourself with Anthony Becker are a mistake. You each may have won your elections without the record setting infusion of money into their candidates. How can you support the 49ers organization when they have set up through their million dollar lawyers supposed community interest committees with totally misleading names meant to deceive and confuse the voters of Santa Clara?? If what they were selling was so great, the 49ers would not have to stoop to subjufuse and fabricating outright lies.

    This is not at all meant to be an attack on either of you, and hopefully this message was reasonably stated and without any vitriol. It is sad to see such animosity amongst the city council due to one very loose cannon instigating and inciting behavior unworthy of a councilman.

    • 201 thousand donated by 49ers to oppose Gillmor. 120 thousand to support becker

      350 k so far to elect becker

    • Inspection of the facilities? Becker’e game management? What a joke! The Niners will not just let him walk around the stadium making problems. They are gonna have someone there watching everything and reporting everything. So let’s just stop the nonsense.

      Second, paying back the ticket value and swing Oopsie I’m sorry isn’t the way it works.

      Third, I seriously doubt that the laws and regulations regarding the stadium authority actually allow for a member to just show up when they feel like it, especially during an important game like the Rams.

      I believe there are other similar incidents here and we need a full law enforcement investigation.

  2. This City Council is so corrupt, it’s ruining our City. All of the 49er 5’s should be off the City Council, for taking inducements for one, and secondly, Becker should definitely be fired for creating a hostile work environment (Becker should be made to stand down) Lisa Gillmor has every right to call Pat Nikolai during the City Council Meeting when Becker went off on her. She is the Mayor of Santa Clara, and how she handles issues is her business. I think the real issue is how Becker handled himself. Why don’t we talk about the real issues?

  3. Alleging that Chahal and Hardy accepted gifts because they were given passes for one game is a stupid waste of time and distracts from the more important issue. It makes the opposition to the 49er Five look petty and silly.

    The more important issue as Kirk Vartan explained in public comment is why were only Chahal and Hardy given the tour of operations? Was the entire Council and Mayor invited? If not, why?

    This goes back to the private meetings that the 49er Five were having with the 49ers. But not as a group of five because meeting with more than three councilmen would require public record keeping. So they met in groups of 2 and 3. Back to back.

    Why did these five meet with the 49ers so much? Why did they go to pains to make sure they were private meetings? What was discussed?

    That is the important issue. Not that Chahal and Hardy got free Monday Night Football tickets. They probably were there to get a tour and meet with team officials. The problem is that it was only the two of them and nobody but the two of them and the 49ers can say what was discussed.

    • Buchser Alum is correct. What is even worse is Jain and Becker have arranged with Steve Ngo not to release records of those meetings until after the election.

  4. The more weight Becker puts on, the deeper he is in Jed’s pockets and the deeper Jed is up Becker’s *** Good for Anthony.

    Halloween is coming and I believe he will look like the great pumpkin in his orange jumpsuit.

    • Becker is too lazy to walk! Jed boy is paying walkers to pass out his slimy propaganda against Lisa to get Becker elected. Coming to your door pretty soon! Be ready to tell the walker where your garbage receptacle is!

  5. Now Playing at the 49er 5 Cinemas:

    Theatre One: R.I.C.O. RAJ
    * R.I.C.O= Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization

    Theatre Two: Better Call Steve Ngo

  6. It should not be up to city council if a criminal investigation should take place.

    That’s our future of suds gets his way with doing away with the elected chief position. The Chief will be at the mercy of city council.

  7. Rosen is too busy playing golf with Jed York and Caserta. He won’t investigate the 49er 5 conflicts and violations that are happening or he would have done it already.

  8. Thank you for keeping these items in the discussion for who will best represent Santa Clara in the next elections. You have caught my attention.

  9. News. Flash

    STEVE NGO has blocked all cpra requests about Anthony Becker dealings with 49er lobbyists until after the election. Suds Jain asked Ngo to hold all inquiries as part of a deal to keep Lozano Smith emoloyed.

    49er lobbyists Stevens and Matthews run FRUSTRATED SANTA CLARAS OPPOSED TO LISA GILLMOR and meet with Jain and Becker twice a month.

    Documents that Ngo is blocking for release, becker emails about gillmor.

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