49er Five Attack Civil Grand Jury Report as “Lies”, Bury Ethics Commission Proposal

By Robert Haugh

At last night’s Santa Clara City Council meeting, the 49er Five were not happy campers about the Civil Grand Jury Report.

They spent the evening mostly attacking the Grand Jury and Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe.

“I’m ready to say that this is a political jury, said Councilman Raj Chahal. “Full of lies, misrepresentations are the hallmark of this grand jury report.”

Councilmember Anthony Becker also called the grand jury a “political jury.” He criticized them for not interviewing him. (Note to Grand Jury: You should).

Becker also criticized Police Chief Pat Nikolai for sending a letter to District Attorney Jeff Rosen asking for an investigation.

But within seconds of that statement, Becker said the opposite. 

“Maybe the district attorney should look into this and see that there was a lot of improper methodology,” said Becker. “That Councilmembers were not interviewed, that in order to make a decision, you have to do the proper methodology.”

Watanabe proposed a citizens Ethics Commission to help respond to the Grand Jury report. She said it was needed since the Council majority is named in the report and has a conflict of interest.

Watanabe said it was the best way “to move forward and gain back the trust of the residents of this City.”

“Nobody’s really talking about the facts in the report,” said Gillmor. “That’s why I really want I do not believe we can police ourselves … We vote against our investigations of ourselves (the Grand Jury reported).”

“It’s going to be the same thing here if we don’t have an independent body looking at us independently and giving objective feedback to both the council and staff.”

Planning Commissioner Nancy Biagini wrote a comment that was read at the meeting: “I strongly support an independent commission (with) names drawn from a hat of those that apply. The alternative, having a committee stacked with those names on the grand jury report (the 49er Five), is keeping the politics in. An independent commission takes the politics out.”

But the 49er Five rejected the idea of an independent Ethics Commission helping craft the response to the Grand Jury.  They want to control the City’s response to the Grand Jury.

The Council will have a series of special meetings, to give City staff direction on how to respond to the Grand Jury reports findings.

Chahal and Becker said an Ethics Commission could be formed sometime in the future.

The Council meeting discussion was pretty intense. The only light moment came when Councilmember Karen Hardy thought that the Grand Jury report was a draft.

Interim City Attorney Steve Ngo had to tell her that it was final.


  1. J. Bryon Fleck, considering how the 49er 5ers on the city council and the 49ers organization (all bullies and wanna-be mobsters) seems ready to viciously attack anyone who disagrees with them, do you really expect people to sign their real names?

    • I do expect posters to sign their names, as I do. I know of no instance of neither members of the Santa Clara City Council nor San Francisco 49ers bullying anyone. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it under your true name. Those are serious allegations you made. Again, it is a simple matter to uncover the identity of “anonymous” posters. It does neither yourself nor Robert any good to post unsubstantiated allegations. Litigation is hell. Use discretion.

    • Mr. Fleck, I am posting to again to state again that you make me feel uncomfortable. Your insistence that people need to reveal their identity on an opinion site, in my opinion, could be detrimental. I am personally not pointing a finger at anyone specifically, but I think I have learned from history that things have happened to people because of posting under their full name. Your insistence that people use their name on an opinion site is causing me concern. Your insistence make me feel uncomfortable. Enough please!

  2. Grandstanding! Finger pointing!!!! If you’re not guilty of misconduct an independent commission should not be an issue.

    • I see that Mr. F. keeps asking people What is your name? That makes me very uncomfortable as a woman living alone. Why would I want to let anyone know my full name on any site. jeopardy for me. I think a subpoena could make the site I post on make the publisher provide access to my name. Why would Flack do that. No respect.

  3. THIS!

    The Importance of Being Ethical. Deep thinking about ethics has not been present in our govt or society for a long time.

    No more confusion, bitterness, desire to tear down, secret agendas, struggles, and in-fighting for power or material wealth.

    Just pure delight in another human being’s willingness and ability to stand-up for you with truth, humility, clarity and integrity for the better good of us all.

    Vote for that, and nothing less.

    Below is a link to a brilliant presentation called “The Importance of Ethics”. It’s from a small school just down the road with a deep and powerful message for us all. It has over 6 million views so it’s well worth watching. Try to hang in there for the whole thing (especially the last 10 min).

    • Thank you
      Very powerful on so many many levels. Did not expect this when I logged in, enjoyed the talk tremendously.

      Burt Field
      District 4 Resident

  4. JB should talk about holding a job.🍹🍸 Glad you don’t live in Santa Clara. I suppose representing Suds as a big accomplishment.

  5. That Karen Hardy seriously thought this was only a draft report is sort of mind boggling.

    From all that I have read she is a very nice person and cares about her community.

    I was watching the meeting and my jaw dropped when she referred to the official report as a draft, and had to be corrected by the law firm acting as the city attorney.

    The Bloc is overwhelmed and over their heads with the million dollar lawyers from the 49ers.

    Again, no offense to Karen. I do admire you for running for office and your community involvement.

    And then you have Mr. Becker and Chahal who did not know the difference between a cost of living wage increase and a contractual raise. That was back when they fired the city manager, yet couldn’t grasp that basic knowledge written into contracts. I watched that meeting too. It was embarrassing when others tried to explain this concept to them and they still didn’t grasp the difference. I believe it was the very last council meeting for the year in 12/21, or that might have been the meeting where Mr. Becker becomes unhinged and enraged at Mayor Gillmor.

  6. Anytime politicians (at any level) become concerned about public disclosure of their work or activities, this is a major red flag. Elected officials are public servants and need to be 100% open to all manner of light being shined on their activates. Otherwise we get leaders like Trump and their lies.

  7. 49er Playbook… Deny, Deflect, and Accuse / Blame others. Question other people’s motives, never actually answering direct questions of your poor ethics, horrible track record of voting, and strange behavior of meeting with parties that are in active litigation with our City.
    Then to see the actual damage done to our city based on these meetings.
    Fired City Attorney (Wrongfully) Reason? No Cause
    Fired City Manager (Wrongfully) Reason? Asked too many questions I guess?
    Settled Active Law Suits (Wrongfully) which end favorably for the 49ers and cost our City Millions.
    Never actually making the 49ers show us how they have not had any profits on Non NFL events since they lost their court battle with our City to lower their own rent.

    Now the repercussions of such actions.
    Having now to pay for the new City Attorney’s at a premium given no other single attorney want to even apply to work in our City.
    Pay the former City manager along with the new “Interim” City Manager all at the same time.
    Avoiding the Courts when you have very winnable court cases…over and over again.

    How do you make any sense of this? How are any of your actions “Saving our City”.
    You see the truth is easy… it’s the truth. Even if it is wrong, the truth makes sense. People make mistakes, people understand no one is perfect. People are eager to forgive and forget.
    What is difficult and hard to digest s when you avoid the truth and just continue to deflect, deny and blame others.
    Just curious to hear some answers that actually address your actions, and stop avoiding the truth. It’s a horrible look for any elected official.
    Burt Field

    • If Doyle was such a good attorney, why hasn’t any other city hired him. Please explain.

    • Byron, you’re a successful attorney, you should know never ask a question you do not know the answer to?
      I have my feelings, but being 7-0 against the 49ers in open court would merit a good look if he wanted to go somewhere else. Being fired from Santa Clara for officially “No Cause” should not be a seen as a negative given our most current landscape for sure, and who voted him off the Island.
      I mean, It’s not like anyone was questioning his ethics, or was on the wrong end of a acting Civil Grand Jury Investigation, that throws out terms like “Serious Wrongdoing” and “Possible Corruption”, I mean that might actually hurt his chances of getting a new job…if he was even looking.
      So feel free to ask Mr. Doyle that question yourself. If he wants to answer you, then that is on him.
      I really try not to make suppositions about others. If I want to know something, I have learned it’s best to just ask that person.
      So Byron here is my question to you, “Why are you so interested in what is going on here in Santa Clara? How many years ago did you move to Willow Glen? Are any of the current 49er 5 current clients or even past clients of yours?
      If so that might have been a good thing to mention as you were asking residents to give their full names…. over and over again.
      Burt Field

    • J. Byron Fleck,

      You wrote: “If Doyle was such a good attorney, why hasn’t any other city hired him. Please explain.”

      Because he is retired. Prior to becoming Santa Clara’s city attorney he was general counsel for the county and prior to that he was San Jose’s senior deputy city attorney.

      I hope that answers your questions. Did you question his qualifications to become interim city attorney when he was appointed that in 2017 while Patty Mahan was mayor?

    • J. Byron Fleck,

      You may call me K. Myron Blech if you like.

      Since you did not follow up on the substance of my answer to your question I take it that you now understand that Brian Doyle was perfectly qualified to become Santa Clara’s city attorney?

  8. I hope if anyone is the least bit interested in the CA orcCM positions are watching these sham meetings. Who wants to take on this toxic and dysfunctional bunch of liars and thugs?

    • Hey flack, why aren’t you asking the posters on San Jose Spotlight what their names are? I mean you live in SJ. Stick with bloggers in yer own backyard. 😂😂😂

  9. Can it get any worse with this bought Council? The attitudes, attacks and lack of decorum was embarrassing. They were playing such a game of defense they should physically play for Jed’s team. Losers. Each and every one of them.

  10. Shame.

    The one question I wanted to hear was of the City Attorney – would he have allowed the voting bloc to interview with the CGJ at all considering the potential criminal exposure?

    Remember bloc, you have the right to remain silent…

    • Let’s hope the grand jury and DA were watching this attack on democracy by the 49er 5. They proved they are not worthy to represent anyone especially themselves.

    • Because I’m worried about retaliation. Are you kidding? Have you not seen how vindictive this bloc is?

    • Shame,

      That is a very good question that I had not thought of. But I do believe that Karen Hardy was questioned by the grand jury was she not? She had voiced complaints about the questions and that she could not have her lawyer present I believe.

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