By Robert Haugh
Indicted Santa Clara Councilman Anthony Becker entered a not guilty plea in Superior Court yesterday on charges that he leaked a confidential Civil Grand Jury report to 49ers executive Rahul Chandhok and pro-49er publication, the Silicon Valley Voice — and then lying about it.
Becker was represented by Public Defender Christopher Montoya. That was a surprise because Becker deferred his plea last month, citing the need to select private counsel. But at the hearing yesterday, he remained represented by Montoya.
Becker was indicted in March on a felony perjury charge and a misdemeanor for allegedly leaking the document. If convicted, Becker could face up to four years in prison. He returns to court on August 2.
Becker was late to yesterday’s hearing and the Judge Daniel Nishigaya was not informed of Becker’s booking, which he was supposed to have completed prior to the hearing. Montoya claimed Becker did get booked and he would supply proof.
Following the plea, Montoya told reporters, “first time impressions of a case are often wrong or incomplete.”
This is a major story in local politics. Several TV crews and a local newspaper were at the hearing.