By Robert Haugh
Last month, indicted Santa Clara City Councilman Anthony Becker went to court and said he wanted a new attorney. Currently, Becker is being represented by Christopher Montoya, a public defender.
Superior Court Judge Daniel Nishigaya instructed Becker to return to court tomorrow to enter his plea.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen says Becker leaked a 2022 civil grand jury report, a misdemeanor.
But Becker allegedly lied to the civil grand jury about leaking the report. That’s considered felony perjury and could result in jail time for Becker if he’s found guilty.
Since the Becker indictment, Santa Clara News Online has received a lot of feedback from people in the local legal community.
Most people are skeptical about Becker’s ability to afford a private attorney. He’s reportedly currently unemployed and has frequently made comments at City Council meetings over the past few months about how it’s hard for him to make ends meet.
There’s been some speculation that local attorneys Patty Mahan or Byron Fleck might represent Becker.
Both are close to Becker and are 49er-friendly, but they don’t have criminal experience.
Some sources believe attorney John Mlnarik will represent Becker. Mlnarik also represented disgraced former Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta.
But Mlnarik was suspended from the California Bar Association in 2019 for stealing money from his clients by forging their signatures.
If Becker has a private attorney, it’s possible that someone else could pay the legal fees, like the 49ers according to our sources.
If that happens, Becker needs a representation agreement so his interests and not the team’s are protected, according to a local attorney.
“That agreement identifies who the client is, and by so doing, where counsel’s duty of independent judgment must be.”
If the 49ers or anyone affiliated with the team pays Becker’s legal fees, it’s likely that it’ll be disclosed according to another local attorney.
That’s what’s happening in a major case now. E. Jean Carroll‘s defamation and sexual assault claims case against former President Donald Trump.
The legal fees are being paid by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, according to recent court disclosures.
We’ll know more tomorrow about Becker’s plea and who’s representing him.
Becker is scheduled to be in court tomorrow at 1:30 pm.
This is a developing story.