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.
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.