BREAKING: SF Chronicle Report – 49er Five, City Manager, and City Attorney May Have Violated State Law with Secrecy Pact

By Robert Haugh

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick and Lance Williams broke another big story online yesterday about how the 49er Five, City Manager Jovan Grogan, and City Attorney Glen Googins signed an agreement that may violate state law.

The “Information Sharing and Event Cooperation Agreement” is between the 49ers, FIFA (soccer’s world governing body) and the City.

(Santa Clara News Online first wrote about this story last month and how the 49ers won’t disclose the cost of the events that could involve public resources).

According to the Chronicle, the Mayor and City Council and a few City staffers could see some of the World Cup documents but they can’t copy or share them. The media and the public could not see them at all.

According to the story, Grogan and Googins came up with the idea.

Coincidentally (and ironically?), the two led an “Open Government and Ethics Training” session last night.

Unfortunately, the Chronicle story is behind a paywall. 

Here are some key excerpts from the story:

One First Amendment expert said the agreement is fraught with apparent violations of the Public Records Act, the state law that safeguards people’s right to know in California. The deal shows “how some private companies have undue influence over public agencies,” said San Francisco lawyer Karl Olson, a specialist in open-government law who reviewed the document for the Chronicle.

At the 49ers’ behest, “the city of Santa Clara is saying they’re going to treat hosting a soccer tournament like the secret of the atom bomb,” Olson said.

“These guys are daring John Q. Public to sue them,” Olson said.

(Mayor Lisa) Gillmor said she’s “heading toward not signing (the agreement), because it ties my hands and doesn’t allow me to do my job.” Council member Kathy Watanabe, like Gillmor a longtime 49ers critic, also won’t sign it because, “I feel it’s illegal,” she said.

“The majority of this information has to do with our publicly owned stadium and public money used to support this event,” Gillmor told the Chronicle. “The 49ers’ executives have a long history of hiding relevant information to our city. So I have grave concerns about it, and I’m not going to sign anything that covers up or makes any attempt to hide what is happening.

“I want the World Cup, but it should be conducted openly and honestly.”

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 without reporting them and received $1 million each for their elections in November 2022.

In 2022, the team spent approximately $2.5 million for Becker in his failed attempt to unseat Mayor Lisa Gillmor.

The 49er Five met 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. Irony. Our city attorney has a $345,000+ cushy job. He previously ‘so-called’ represented Chula Vista but had to *RUN* for election for city attorney. Yes, he was “elected.”

    Now, he presides and REPRESENTS–as city attorney–a cabal to overthrow each Santa Claran’s right to elect a police chief that stands between us and the crime that Suds, Karen, Kevin, Raj, and Tony wish to force down our throats.

  2. Correction to my last post… ++ Transitive property++, not associative property. Not that it really matters… The MIT grad, the CalTech grad, and the Indicted person (“the anti-Sants Clara wing’) still will transmogrify this community to the extent life will become, … you know the rest…

    This next election will determine Santa Clara’s fate.

    Otherwise… consider

  3. Ethics? Ha!

    It is refreshing, from time-to-time, when despots say aloud that we Santa Clarans know is true. See link below.

    Our City Attorney, who lives a lives a LAVISH lifestyle on the backs of tax-payers… look up his social media…

    KNOW THIS… gOOgins admits he gives 0 effs about you Santa Clarans… ’cause his client is “the City.’ ……… The City is the corrupt 49er 5 council.

    How can a city attorney competently represent a corrupt set of council members and claim to represent the citizens of that very City?!?!

    So, with associative property principles (for MIT and Caltech lame grads, if A=B and B=C, then A=C)… SOOOO……. gOOgins de facto represents the 49ers.

    Two points to close.

    1. Bellflower, Ca. (corrupted city council)


    …more to come

    Santa Clara shall weather the storm! Or perish.

  4. A back door means to bill the City for all the stadium upgrades the 49er management feels entitled too is my bet for a good measure of this secrecy.

  5. The city manager and attorney works for the client, don’t they know the people of Santa Clara is the client or do the work for the 49ers.

  6. 49er 7

    Open government and ethics training and they tell us we can’t tell you it’s a secret. It’s our city and our money, the citizens have the right to know, that’s Open government. Make deals and not telling what is in the deal that’s unethical. So my question is what did learn from this training. They should call it lie, steal and cheat training.

  7. I would like to point out Suds’ recent “basket of deplorables” moment that did not get the attention it deserves.

    Suds Jain
    OCTOBER 25, 2023 AT 6:44 PM: (Suds’ response to Robert’s excellent news article on the head of 49ers “security” being a council meeting no show to discuss out of control Levi violence at games.

    “Classic Robert Haugh, making his readers dumber with every biased post.”

    Thank you, Suds, for broadbrushing the readers of Robert’s hard hitting news articles, backed by facts, as being ‘DUMBER THAN DUMB.’


    Let’s face it, that is your true colors toward us. you consider us sheep and stupid, incapable of electing our own police chief, city clerk, etc. You are an elitist and this attitude of being above the law permeates the 49er 5.

    As a reminder, the below is taken directly from the city website. This is one of many other stated goals that Suds violated in his demeaning comment:

    “Goals of the Code of Ethics & Values”
    *To make Santa Clara a better community, built on mutual respect and trust
    *To promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government elected officials, City staff, volunteers, and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees

    I tried calling in to last nights “Ethics Training” public meeting to make a comment, but ironically they were not accepting public comments by phone. Suds demeaning comments here are timed perfectly, coming on the day of the meaningless, knee jerk reaction, Ethics Training.

    Read it one more time to let it sink in: “”Classic Robert Haugh, making his readers dumber with every biased post.”

    Thank you to the Chron too.

    • When all you can do is call names, it’s a cover for one’s insecurities and a reflection of what you are. Not the person you are calling names. Guess this means Sudsy is dumber.

    • I have a lot of disagreements with fans of this blog and publisher of it for years. I never thought they were dumb, just wrong. I am often wrong. But i have opinions just like everyone does. But intellect is not missing from readers here. I see the world one way, and some don’t

      As for Jain, his arrogance and elitist is there for the world to see. A petty, silly man with no love for his constituents.

  8. How is this possible? I just invested 3.5 hours last night learning about Ethics?
    How can it be that Public Money is being thrown around, and yet none of the public has any input to date, on just how our money is to be used.
    Our Mayor and lone City Council Member refused to sign any documents related to these events given it has all been done behind closed doors.

    Something smells really bad here.
    Los Angeles just gave FIFA the Red Card…. I think it’s time Santa Clara at least gives FIFA a Yellow Card.
    Why… because they don’t want any of us to know what is really going to happen.
    I’m so tired of all of this…

    Public Funds are Public Funds, we must have Public Input (Period).

    How is this going to effect our Police Force, Fire Department, local Roads and other infrastructure.

    How many Millions, possibly Billions are we expected to kick out, and what if any is our potential return.
    I’m expecting our City Attorney and City Manager to step in and make sure this is done right.
    This is the time for them to Stand Up For Santa Clara. Right next to them will be Mayor Gillmor and our Lone Santa Clara City Council Member Kathy Watanabe.

    Let’s get this right, or send FIFA on it’s way…. I have an extra Red Card if our Mayor needs one.

    Burt Field

  9. An ethics complaint should be filed against the City Attorney if this is true.
    Just another shill for the Council Majority.

    This is why would should maintain our elected Police Chief.

  10. Just when you thought jed york couldn’t get any more sleazy. If you just step back and look at this you have to ask yourself, ‘Self, why do they want to keep everything they do a secret? Why do they already violate the Prop J agreement and not disclose financial information on running OUR stadium?’
    Maybe they should go into waste management like honest mobsters.

    • Grogan and Googins are refusing to answer public record requests citing attorney client privilege

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