Santa Clara Will Hold Open Government and Ethics Training – And It’s Not on April Fool’s Day

By Robert Haugh

The City will have a training session on “Open Government and Ethics rules” on Thursday, October 26, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Santa Clara City Hall in the Council Chambers.

Santa Clara City Attorney Glen Googins will be conducting the training.

This should be an interesting session.  

Recently, Googins was involved in an effort that an ethicist suggested wasn’t open or ethical.

Here’s what Dr. Tom Shanks said to Santa Clara News Online in an interview about efforts to get documents that the 49ers won’t share with the City about the 2026 FIFA World Cup:

“I’m really disappointed that City staff doesn’t appear to be doing its duty and acting on behalf of the residents to obtain this information. It’s been months since City Manager Jovan Grogan and City Attorney Glen Googins were directed by the City Council to get the documents. This was also a major recommendation of the Civil Grand Jury.”

Shanks is a nationally recognized ethicist and the former director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. He set up Santa Clara’s award-winning ethics program decades ago.

Shanks also believes that “corruption or the appearance of corruption in Santa Clara already puts the City in the running for this decade’s most corrupt local government.”

Let’s see if Googins addresses or avoids this issue.

Googins plans to cover the following topics:

  • State Open Meeting laws (the Brown Act)
  • The Public Records Act
  • Conflicts of Interest rules
  • Gift limitation/disclosure requirements
  • A variety of other rules governing the conduct of local public officials
  • A general presentation on the City’s own ethics rules


  1. Way too little, way too late.

    This feels more like a “cover your ass” public display by the 49er 5, the new city attorney and the new city manager.

    If following ethics was a concern for the 49er 5, Anthony Becker would not be making decisions of huge impact to the citizens of Santa Clara, still. They would have put him on the sidelines until his felony charge is resolved.

    I imagine Becker has wood on the other “4”. The timing of this ethics training is suspicious, like another ‘shoe may drop’. “Training” is the usual knee-jerk reaction of government and business entities to show “Look, we took this seriously and did something.”

    This ethics meeting is a complete ‘dog and pony show’.

    The new city attorney has a very vested interest, and should not be the one teaching this “ethics remedial course”, but rather by an outside expert in governmental graft, corruption, and quid pro quo actions.

    Thank you to Kirk and Tom for exposing the rot of the 49er 5. You are incredibly strong and devoted to come in front of a city council that has regularly and openly mocked you and your presentations. The 5 have acted like junior high schoolyard bullies towards you, it is all on video. The insults towards you and the resulting smiles and chuckles from the other 5 are disgusting. This is a character issue, and no amount of ethics bs training will change that.

    Also, congratulations on 7 years, Robert! I am sorry for the childish behavior of city council members who try to defend their own poor behavior by going after the source. You are doing an incredibly important thing for our democracy.

  2. Reply regarding ‘ethics’ in two (2) POINTS:

    (1) It is self-evident why Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Kevin Park, Sudhanshu Jain, and Tony Becker ‘kill3d’ our former City Lawyer.

    (2) Current Stooge better remind himself that he represents the CITY OF SANTA CLARA and NOT the 49er 5.

    POINT 1:

    Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Kevin Park, Sudhanshu Jain, and Tony Becker DO NOT want a FAIR and JUST LAW SYSTEM!

    “Let’s kill all the lawyers!” –William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part II. That is What EXACTLY the traitorous quislings did with the removal of the former City Attorney.

    Quote from the link below….

    “So there you have it! “Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a complicated phrase that (somehow always) refers to the importance of maintaining a fair rule of law that protects the people. Whether lawyers symbolize evil or good is almost irrelevant; the most important thing about this quote is the upholding of a fair and just law system, itself.”

    POINT 2:

    Glen Googins REPRESENTS the CITIZENS of SANTA CLARA …….. and NOT Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Kevin Park, Sudhanshu Jain, and Tony Becker.

    As a citizen, if necessary, you may contact the State Bar if legal advice for our Beloved Santa Clara goes AGAINST us citizens.

  3. I’ll be there as well as a member of the Parks & Rec commission. I’ll be curious to see who else shows up.

    • Guess what, D.C. ?

      I like you, you speak very well, and you do care about the city.
      You are doing a good job

      23-988 was filled last month.

      It was an attempt to allege shennigans.

      I monitor these things.
      The requestor is not known, but it attempted to make a charge alleging parks and rec commissioners were campaigning against becker.
      Check cpra 23-988

  4. Googins seems to have the needed training correctly listed. Will the City Council be required to attend? If not, what’s the point? The public is not running afoul of ethics issues – it’s our leaders who seem to be ethically challenged.

  5. Is it ethical for Kevin Park to engage in an email exchange with Jay Reed about getting money from the 49ers three months after the election? Is it ethical for Suds Jain to keep quiet after Becker tells that Becker violsted the law?

  6. Essay Question 2

    Is it ethical dismiss a Parks and Rec Commissioner for no stated reason?

    Essay Question 3

    Is it ethical to use secret message apps to communicate with 49ers?

    Essay Question 4

    Why is John McLemore listed as legal counsel for Anthony Becker?

    Essay Question 5

    Is it ethical to use a children’s book to insult a member of the public while chairing a meeting?

    Essay Question 6

    Is it ethical to hire a campaign consultant who was fired for writing tweets about defending men who expose themselves in front of women?

  7. Ok, how many of you laughed as hard as I did when you read the title to this story? I laughed so hard my dog was looking at me to make sure I was ok.

    Sadly I soon realized this wasn’t a joke. This was just real life.
    I could easily list so many places I’d rather be on Thursday Night, from the beaches of Hawaii or Tahiti, to getting my teeth cleaned or eyes checked…
    Truthfully, on this Thursday night, I need to show up for my City.
    By the way…
    I will be easy to find. I’ll be wearing my favorite color shirt.

    Burt Field

    • Is it ethical for Suds Jain to make the following statement:
      “….. (“i know this person”) is on public assistance. But Jain refuses to cite program. Jain also has questioned the intelligence of everyone who reads this blog. At a Teresa O’Neill community meeting, Jain physically threatened someone.

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