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.
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.