By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara City Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy received free game passes from the 49ers for a Monday Night Football game on November 15, 2021.
They did not declare it which is a violation of state law. And City law prohibits them from receiving any gifts from the 49ers under the City’s lobbyist ordinance.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is currently investigating the potential state violation.
No one is currently investigating the City’s lobbyist violation.
The 49er Five refused to agendize that possible action at the September 13, 2022, City Council meeting. That’s when Mayor Lisa Gillmor recommended that District Attorney Jeff Rosen investigate since the interim City Attorney Steve Ngo of the Lozano Smith law firm has a conflict of interest.
Chahal and Hardy claim that they were on an “operation tour” during the 49ers-Rams football game. They were spotted on the sidelines during the game.
But the Stadium Authority never officially authorized their visit.
The Santa Clara police unit working at the stadium that evening was unaware of Chahal and Hardy’s visit, according to a text from Assistant Police Chief Derek Rush.
49ers executive Jim Mercurio who is the team’s stadium manager was also unaware, according to the text.
The text was discovered as part of a public records act request and undercuts Chahal and Hardy’s claim that they were on an operational tour.
This is a developing story.