By Robert Haugh
Late yesterday, the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury released a scathing report.
According to the Grand Jury: “the City Council Voting Bloc has acted like no other governing body in County history by violating ethical standards, the City charter, and normal rules of adult behavior.”
They asked District Attorney Jeff Rosen to indict Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park. Wow.
This is the second critical report the Grand Jury has issued about the Santa Clara City Council.
Last October, the Grand Jury published a report entitled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.”
That report concluded that Becker, Chahal, Jain, Hardy and Park (aka “The 49er Five”) are selling out Santa Clara to help the 49ers.
The team has spent $1 million for each of the five Councilmembers to help get them elected since 2020. They spent an additional $2 million to support Becker for Mayor last year, but he was defeated by Mayor Lisa Gillmor.
The latest Grand Jury report was released late on Friday for a reason.
According to a source on the Grand Jury, they were concerned about what happened last time when their October report was online days before it was officially released.
“We learned our lesson and released it after happy hour,” said the juror. “We didn’t want someone (cough, Anthony Becker) to leak it to his friends (cough, Erika Towne: cough, Carolyn Schuk) at a biased publication (cough, Silicon Valley Voice).”
When asked for comment, Becker emailed a response before realizing that he sent it to Santa Clara News Online from Schuk’s personal email account. Whoops.
Park issued a statement saying that he doesn’t need to read Grand Jury reports.
Instead, Park suggested that the jurors read a book that he really likes and has shared at City Council meetings recently. It’s called “All My Friends are Dead” and he bought a handful of them for the Grand Jury.
“I know the title may seem somewhat harsh, so I’ve gone to the trouble of taking Post-It notes and covered the word ‘dead’ with the words ‘grand jurors,” said Park. “Ha. Ha. I’m clever and really funny don’t you think.”
But Jain, who chairs the Council’s Governance and Ethics Committee, said he takes the report seriously and will treat it the same as the last Grand Jury report.
“We will ignore … I mean explore … the Grand Jury recommendations with the same hilarity … I mean sincerity … that we gave the October report,” said Jain.
Hardy and Chahal could not be reached for comment because they were attending a concert at Levi’s Stadium as part of another “operations tour.”
They claim that their cell phones could not get reception inside Jed York’s luxury box while champagne was being served.
A spokesman for District Attorney Rosen says Rosen is reviewing the Grand Jury report this weekend and will issue a statement next week.
“Rosen believes in good government,” said spokesman Justin Sane.
“And the Grand Jury has clearly made a case that the City Council Voting Bloc is violating laws and are really foolish.
“We expect this type of behavior on April 1. But it happens in Santa Clara every day? Wow.”