Santa Clara City Council Meeting Reveals Official Personnel Investigation of Anthony Becker for Abusive Behavior

By Robert Haugh

The last Santa Clara City Council meeting before the election was long. But some interesting new information came out.

A member of the public asked that Mayor Lisa Gillmor be considered for censure for leaking executive session information on the 49er settlement decision and for sending a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom in support of the Related Santa Clara development project.

Gillmor responded to the accusations by saying that she and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe walked out of the executive session before it started because of the abusive behavior of Councilmember Anthony Becker. So they could not have leaked any settlement agreement info.

“I shared this information publicly with the media at the time of the incident,” said Gillmor. “It was not privileged information from closed session. It was about behavior in closed session.” 

That’s not news. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Gillmor and Watanabe felt threatened by Becker who yelled “F-you” at them and made an obscene gesture. Becker hung up the phone when a reporter asked him about the incident.

What’s news is that there’s a personnel investigation into Becker’s abusive behavior. Gillmor mentioned that when she asked that information from the results of the personnel investigation be included in any discussion.

Watanabe said that she left the closed session room because of Becker’s threats and sat in the Council chambers.  “I came out here and I sat shaking for hours,” Watanabe said.

Becker said that he was the one being “bullied” during the executive session. That has been Becker’s standard response to the numerous times he’s been accused by residents of abusive behavior.

On the issue of the letter Gillmor wrote to Newsom, she said that it was in support of a project that was unanimously approved by the Council. The letter was also reviewed by City management and the City Attorney’s office.

Watanabe added that Gillmor was the only one to sign the letter. She suggested that Councilmembers be removed from the City letterhead if they have objections to official letters being sent out to support City projects.

The 49er Five voted to place the issue for discussion on a future agenda. The vote was 5-2 with Gillmor and Watanabe voting against.

Interim City Attorney Steve Ngo suggested that it may take a few meetings to deal with the issue because of personnel or legal issues involved.

Editor’s Note: The 49er Five are Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy, and Kevin Park.

Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to elect Becker, Jain and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections. Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team recently without reporting them. York has spent approximately $1 million to support Chahal and Hardy in their reelection campaigns this November. York has spent approximately $2 million to support Becker this November in his election against Gillmor.

The 49er Five meet with the team on an almost weekly basis and have voted to help the team win millions of dollars in concessions from the City since December 2020.


  1. Look, the thing Becker has done by ignoring Jamie McLeod Skinner and her contributions to Santa Clara is unforgiveable.

    • In her tenure on Santa Clara City Council, she voted against stadium. As did, later, Becker, Hardy, Jain, Park and Chalal. Gillmor and Watabane, on the otherhand, were promoting the subsidy from residents to a billionaire. Who had better judgment? Facts are facts.

    • Becker has stated many times he voted for stadium. The other 4 sold their souls to Jed when he flashed 30 pieces of silver at them. Gilmore and watabane realized the bait and switch and stood up against it. Jed is a bully when he doesn’t get his way.

    • Byron,

      I am glad to see you complimenting Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s judgment.

      Jamie McLeod-Skinner is endorsing Lisa Gillmor for mayor.

      Facts are facts.

  2. Robert,

    I wish that you would stop trying to dramatize this incident and also wish that Gillmor and Watanabe would stop trying to drag this out and make it more of an issue than it really is.

    I do not believe that Gillmor felt threatened or that Watanabe shook in fear for hours due to Becker saying “f*** you” and flipping them off any more than I believe that Burt Field has incited violence toward Becker or that your website is welcoming of homophobic hate speech.

    Gillmor looks good in comparison to Becker and Park when they cannot help but engage in petty bickering and she has the maturity to rise above it. It is a credit to her that she can be calm and disinterested in silly attacks by public commenters like Lori Garmany and even politely thank her for participating in the meeting with her comment and move on to real business. Becker and Park do not have the presence of mind to do this and it would be best to draw a strong a contrast to their behavior as possible.

    I think you can help do this by focusing on issues that really matter and Becker’s problems that are truly important and real. And not play up pretend fear just to make an attack for political reasons even if it is deserved.

    Many commenters would serve our city better by heeding this as well and strive to be better than the people we feel are failing our city.

    • Dominic Caserta to Suds Jain
      “Gillmor is pure evil and must dealt with”

      Hmm, a little over the top. No admonishment

      Texts between jain and becker referring to watanabe and gillmor as “having a crush on each other”

      Inapproriate. No admonishment


    • 4 million for stadium opponents. 76 secret meetings for stadium opponents. Byron is right, 49ers are dumb!! SORT OF LIKE A LAW FIRM HIRING A LAWYER WHO DEMANDED THE DA INVESTIGATE THEIR CLIENTS

    • Ben,

      You are describing private conversations. Rude comments with sentiments deserving of admonishment but private conversations.

      I think it is silly to care about these rude exchanges in private conversations. I think it is silly to make a big fuss over Becker acting rudely in closed session and pretend as if he was presenting a violent threat. I think it is silly for Becker to make a big fuss over a few comments on this blog and pretend as if they invited death threats or homophobic verbal attacks directed at him.

      I think it is silly for Becker to still be preoccupied with what Robert Haugh or commenters here say about him. I think it is silly for Kevin Park to take up council meeting time to squabble with Kirk Vartan. I think it is silly for Kathy Watanabe to pretend as if Kevin Park is harassing her in a council meeting.

      And I think it is silly for Becker and Jain and Caserta and whomever to be rude and insulting in private conversations especially on official city phone and email platforms.

      There is a lot of manufacturing or exaggeration of minor and petty grievances for political effect by various council members. It is childish and embarrassing to us all and a waste of time. We should not engage in it and promote it on this site. Doing so is a discredit to all the valid and serious criticism we have for Becker and his allies on council and the Forty Niners.

      If you want to look better than your opponents you need to act better than your opponents.

  3. There are so many documented situations where Becker has lost his cool, along with this tirade during closed session a few weeks ago. A few months ago when he was being called out and questioned during a zoom meeting he was yelling “f*** you” at citizens while they voiced their concerns about some of his actions (including me). There are documented complaints from city staff as well in regards to his behavior towards them as well (which got pushed under the rug by other other 49er four).

    I don’t agree with him always voting in favor of the 49ers but the real reason I’m not voting for him is his abusive and aggressive behavior alone. He got rude with me when I saw him passing out flyers in my neighborhood and I told him to not leave any of them on their doors- they aren’t voting for him.

    Becker incase you didn’t know you’re a politician, playing a political game- not everyone is going to like you and you can’t make everyone like you. If you wanted everyone to like for you sign up for a beauty pageant where that stuff matters. And sadly, I know deep down my opinion will piss you off and you steam.

    • Sb 43. Proposed by the 49ers. Introduced by Elaine Alquist. Favored by Mahan. Design build. No competitive bidding for construction. CONSIDERED BAD FOR LABOR. BUILDING TRADES SC COUNTY SAID YES. Why. Massive job creation.

  4. Wait…. All I’ve read, seen and heard for the last few months is “Becker is Better”.
    Maybe I’ve finally figured out what he is actually better at?
    What the 49ers have learn are two things.
    1. Vet your potential shills……please. My guess is you can do a whole lot better. Or better stated, I don’t think you could do much worse.
    2. $3-$4 Million does not go as far as it use to go. Maybe next time allocate $30 to $40 Million.

    Burt Field

    • Burt Field, please provide update. These are questions which require simple yes or no answers. They are not biased in anyway. Simple yes or no to each.
      1. No Notice of Intent to recall has been filed or served as of today’s date. Correct?
      2. The “Recall Committee” has no attorney. Correct?
      3. Do you support Howard Myers comments attacking Councilmember Becker?
      Thank u for your anticipated courtesies and prompt response.

  5. Has anyone figured out the secret code Kevin Park is speaking?

    If so, please translate? Is he giving secrets to the Russians or North Korea?

  6. Thank you for the update from yesterday’s meeting. Was going to watch the recording later (see link below).

    I’ve seen Becker in person and so far not impressed. I want to avoid mudslinging but do agree that his basic tendency is to counter punch / attack. At first I thought it was outrage, but now starting to think differently. What completely turned my off was hearing at multiple events in response to PAC / IE money, “It is not illegal” (true), “we need to respect Citizens United” (biased opinion), that’s a very low bar for a leader and elected official…

    Happy Wednesday! & days to go till election day!

  7. I can’t imagine unstable Anthony Becker continuing his council members seat let alone becoming Mayor.
    Recall this angry punk!

Leave a Reply