By Robert Haugh
After a scathing Civil Grand Jury report that concluded the 49er Five regularly “put the 49ers’ interests ahead of the city’s interests,” the 49ers are attacking the Grand Jury.
49ers Exec and lobbyist Rahul Chandhok in a statement to the Silicon Valley Business Journal (SVBJ) called the Grand Jury “a kangaroo court.”
Wow. That’s a first.
Chandhok also told the SVBJ, that “in addition to the two unnamed members of the jury who were removed for conflicts, others like(ly) had similar conflicts that ‘will be uncovered.’”
Double wow. Even for Chandhok.
Chandhok claims that two jurors were “removed for conflicts.”
According to the final Grand Jury report published yesterday, two jurors recused themselves and were not removed as Chandhok claims:
Members of the Civil Grand Jury are instructed to determine if, as a result of prior or current employment or associations, investment in public or private enterprise, or personal relationship, they are subject to recusal from participating in a matter before the Civil Grand Jury. Two jurors recused themselves from the subject matter of this report.
According to knowledgeable sources, the 49ers have done research on Grand Jury members that includes identifying where they live and go to church.
A member of the local legal community said that Chandhok has a free speech right to criticize the report. But personally attacking the Grand Jury is problematic and could be considered jury tampering.
Police Chief Pat Nikolai sent an official request to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen yesterday asking him to investigate the Grand Jury’s key findings. In that letter, Nikolai wrote:
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.
By press time, Rosen’s press office had not responded to a request for comment.