BREAKING: Santa Clara Police Chief Calls for District Attorney to Investigate Grand Jury Findings About 49er Five

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara Police Chief Pat Nikolai made an official request for Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen to Investigate the findings of the Civil Grand Jury Report, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.” Wow.

The report was officially released yesterday. It was leaked and appeared in media reports on Friday.  

The grand jury report “raises serious questions about unethical conduct, state and city law violations, and potential corruption,” Nikolai wrote in his letter to Rosen. 

The grand jury said in their report that the 49er Five “put the 49ers’ interests ahead of the City’s interests.” 

The grand jury also believes that Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park may have violated State and City laws.

In an email to reporters, Nikolai writes that he asked Rosen to investigate the following:

  • Findings 1a, 1b, 1c – Potential Violations of the Public Meeting Laws
  • Findings 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d – Potential Misappropriation of Public Funds
  • Finding 5 – Potential Violation of City’s Prohibition on Accepting Lobbyist Gifts
  • Finding 8a – Termination of City Management

With strong language, Nikolai in his letter defended the Grand Jury from attacks they are getting from the 49ers:

I’ve read unwarranted personal attacks about the Grand Jury members from a 49er representative. It’s the same negative behavior we have witnessed in Santa Clara for some time. When the team is questioned about their actions, they immediately attack individuals and challenge their motives and integrity. Their targets have included the City Staff, auditors, and many others.

The team’s response should not be dismissed lightly. The 49ers are sending a disturbing message: if anyone challenges the team, they will be publicly attacked, including the Grand Jury. These actions can discourage good people from speaking out against the 49ers or participating in our civic institutions.

Double Wow.

Nikolai referenced in his letter the work and opinion of ethicist Dr. Tom Shanks who was interviewed last month by Santa Clara News Online.

Recently, a respected ethicist who worked with the City of Santa Clara for decades wrote in the Mercury News that he sees “the most egregious collapse of ethics of any institution I’ve worked with in three decades.” Further, he highlighted similarities between actions taking place today in Santa Clara to those that happened a decade ago in the City of Bell, the biggest local government corruption scandal in California’s recent history.

Nikolai concluded his letter by reminding Rosen that the DA’s investigative powers are necessary to determine if laws were broken.

The Civil Grand Jury report has a similar warning for us. Therefore, I believe your office must provide the investigative power that we currently don’t have in our City. I offer to work with you and provide any police department resources that might be appropriate.

Triple and Quadruple Wow. 

This is a developing story.

24 comments

  1. I also support an elected Chief of Police. By being elected, he/she can listen to advice from the community that he/she serves and make independent decision on how to manage the Police Department. There is a check and balance outside the ballot box. That is, the City Council hold the purse strings. This system has worked for more than 100 years. Let’s not try to fix what’s not broken.

  2. It’s about time for the adults to handle things. I think these five need to be sent to their room. Or cell.

  3. That letter is exactly why Santa Clara needs an appointed leader, not an elected politician, as police chief. Recently the City of Santa Clara was supposed to investigate past cases that were handled and/or supervised by Brian Gilbert and Phil Cooke but Nikolai didn’t send a letter to Jeff Rosen requesting an independent investigation. This all seems to be a carefully orchestrated cadence, ahead of city elections, with the Gillmor Gang.

    • Gang??? One, a former dean of SJSU, and a former district attorney serve on the Grand Jury. Attacks on them warant an investigation. Ps, i opposed Nikolai on 2020.

    • ROTFL.

      NIce try. You are just mad because the 49er five tyrants can’t control the Chief.

    • By Gillmor Gang I wasn’t referring to members of the Grand Jury, I was referring to Gillmor’s political side of the aisle. Kinda like the political “49er Five” moniker. And one doesn’t have to have a “beef” with someone to hold them accountable.

    • What crimes would they have committed in Santa Clara to warrant a DA criminal investigation? Their crimes occurred after they retired. If there was one there would have been a referral from the US attorney.

      You don’t do an investigation to look for a crime.

    • “You don’t do an investigation to look for a crime.” When crimes are alleged, the first three things investigators do is interview witnesses, interrogate suspects, and collect evidence to determine if a crime has occurred and whether an arrest should be made. https://law.lclark.edu/live/news/5498-what-are-some-common-steps-of-a-criminal

      Phil Cooke: “Don’t think they would go that far but is a little concerning, if I was the Detective I would ask you for a local PD contact to go get video. Might want to have a friendly in mind.”

      Brian Gilbert: “was thinking the same thing. If they bring it up I might volunteer to assist with that. Then we can control the local cop and maybe provide a video from a different Santa Clara Safeway.”

      In June 2020, SCPD and the City of Santa Clara stated there would be an investigation but Nikolai apparently didn’t send a letter to the district attorney about that. Just one of many reasons why new leadership at all levels is needed.

    • What’s the alleged state level crime that was committed that warrants an investigation?

  4. Nothing else to do except keep picking on the 49 ers well when they leave
    I’ll be spearheading to remove all concerts heaven only knows how many officials have gotten a ticket to those
    Then the stadium will sit empty like an Albatross
    Because strains being hit seniors being chased all over Winchester Boulevard by jerks going to fast the police them south can’t figure out may be that you could put Santa Clara on one side in San Jose on the other side like they used to and perhaps slow everybody down by tagging them if you’re looking for revenue at least save a life how about going after the little cars racing around Santa Clara at night the porch thieves the thieves going into peoples garage is in cars and yards seems to me that’s a whole lot more important but then again what do I know I’ve only lived in this community over 40 years

    • Deb- There is no “when they leave.” The 49ers are not going anywhere so we need to hold them accountable for their actions.
      Having the stadium sit there empty does not benefit the city. We need to have concerts and other events to make money.
      There is no traffic enforcement on Winchester or other streets because both agencies have had their motor traffic units decimated by budget cuts. SJPD has less that 10 motor officer (use to be 30) and Santa Clara has less than 5 motor officers (used to be 12).
      Writing citations does not generate a huge amount of income for the city.

  5. Why does the report say: “Two jurors recused themselves from the subject matter of this report.”. Why were they even on the Jury? The report says nothing else about the recusals or how these two people participated given that they had conflicts of interest.

    Also the report gets one of the most basic facts wrong. The report says: “Two
    members of the City Council Voting Bloc who are up for re-election, and one who is challenging
    the current Mayor, received almost $750,000 in donations from 49ers PACs”. There were no DONATIONS to candidates. The 49ers spend money on independent expenditures NOT coordinated in any way with the candidates.

    • Suds has a problem with semantics. He needs lessons on how civil grand juries serve too.

      Bye, bye Suds.

    • Suds, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney during any questioning. If you can not afford an attorney (this one might be more for Becker), one will be appointed to you. If you decide to answer questions now, without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time.

    • Recused means they took no part in discussion. Suds needs to follow lawyer advice, SHUT UP. why do THREE members of the council have to meet with 49ers. 3 close to 4. As stated, a former college dean and a former da sit on grand jury, who determined suds, becker, and park SHOULD NOT MEET with a group who is spending a HALF MILLION to attack Gillmor who is getting support from an IE run by William Witte, a cousin of Newsom. Why is Suds attacking cpra requests and attacking disabled people? Why did Suds reveal closed session items to 49ers? There is no reason for THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS to have a strategy session with the 49ers about Robert Haugh. Ok so Haugh gets up and writes a blog. SO WHAT???? So do tea ladies in Atherton. I dont like the guy, but he has a right like 309 million Americans to write a blog. Instead of speeding and teenage crime, suds is worried about bloggers and tillanok cheese.

    • Suds, aren’t you the one who has been forced to recuse himself repeatedly for conflicts of interest in your own district? Yet you have the balls to question the ethics of 2 jurors who recused themselves??

      Suds, I have said over and over again it was political suicide for you to hook your wagon to Anthony Becker. Now you, Hardy, Chahal and Park are forever tied to him and his fortune, or misfortune.

      Suds, we all know that the 49ers got you and the others elected with millions of dollars overwhelming and buying local politics. It makes no difference if the money was directly or indirectly spent on your campaign. The results were the same. The sham 49ers PAC’s outspent all other PAC’s combined 12:1. Quit your false outrage at the very thing that got you elected. You are both desperate and untruthful to state that the grand jury got “the most basic fact” wrong. You are the “Wizard of Santa Clara” who had Dorothy pull back the curtain for us all to see who is hiding and pulling the levers.

      Suds, the clouds have broken and it is totally, utterly, and completely obvious why you and the 49ers 5 want to steal the power from Santa Clara citizens of electing their own police chief, and instead make the chief a pick of the council so you can put in a schill of your own picking, someone who would not ask DA Rosen for a criminal investigation into you and the other 49er 5.

      Suds, who really released the Grand Jury report early and illegally? You, the 49ers, and the
      49er 5 clan, had the motivation to do so to create this last minute diversion of questioning the ethics of the grand jury. After all, you et al have had hundreds of private meetings with the 49ers with no record of what was discussed. Was this strategy at one of the 49er 5’s hundreds of meetings with the 49ers with no record of what you discussed?
      s
      Suds, you, Chahal, Hardy, Becker, and Park, do not in any way remotely represent the best interest of your constituents in our beautiful city. You are sycophants for the 49er 5 The Grand Jury got that absolutely correct, and it probably wasn’t a really hard decision on their part.

      Oh, I am writing as a 6 decade resident of our city. I hang out at our wonderful Senior Center and the 49er 5 and the resulting damage are a hot topic of discussion. Anecdotally, you have largely lost the confidence and support and vote of the seniors because you are seen as doing the bidding of the 49ers, while the Senior Center has been neglected by you all.

    • As has been stated elsewhere. SUDS JAIN leaked the report. Grounds enough for DA action

    • The lack of coordination is a joke. PACs and candidates can, and do, get around this every hour of every day. You must think the citizens of Santa Clara are all idiots. We will see on November 8.

  6. Checks and balances!

    An independent Chief is a wonderful check on the rampaging lawlessness of this majority. The dude is right, an appointed Chief who is under their thumb wouldn’t dream of speaking truth to power.

    It is eminently clear why they have undermined his authority since coming into office.

    Keep the Chief:
    Encourage transparency.
    Maintain democracy.

  7. Reasons like this are why we can’t have an appointed Chief of Police…
    A City Council appointed Chief of Police would be fired by our current council for drafting such a letter.

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