In the ongoing legal case surrounding indicted Santa Clara Councilmember Anthony Becker, new evidence has emerged which adds further twists and turns to an already tangled political drama. As documented by Santa Clara News Online, business leader Kirk Vartan recently asked Becker to resign, citing Becker's lying and hypocrisy. Even during a City Joint Council meeting on May 23, members of the public called for Becker's resignation.
"Anthony you've got to go you're embarrassing the city all of the publicity that's coming to our city now is bad as publicity and if you really cared about Santa Clara you would resign. Vacate your post take care of your legal issues and let us move on from this."
As Hoodline reported earlier, recent transcripts obtained from The Mercury News claim that Becker admitted to fellow Councilmember Suds Jain that he leaked a confidential civil grand jury report, titled "Unsportsmanlike Conduct," which was critical of Becker and other councilmembers for their close relationships with the San Francisco 49ers. Becker faces multiple charges related to the leak and subsequent allegations that he attempted to frame Mayor Lisa Gillmor for the distribution of the document.
Adding fuel to the fire, as reported by ABC7 News, the indictment has stirred controversy in Santa Clara, with Mayor Gillmor and several residents calling for Becker's resignation, while some council colleagues defend him and opt for allowing the legal process to play out. Meanwhile, concern over the 49ers' influence in the city grows as the team provided considerable financial backing for Becker's mayoral race and other local elections, according to a San José Spotlight article.
Further information emerges as a recent Mercury News article reveals transcripts from an 850-page March and April criminal grand jury hearing, offering an inside look into the events around the leak of the "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" report and how the 49ers strategized over its explosive details. The report, which was critical of five councilmembers for their unethical ties to the 49ers, was leaked to several media outlets in October 2022, days before its official release.
The Mercury News alleges that in the aftermath of the leak, the 49ers and their consultants worked tirelessly to shape public opinion and undermine political leverage that the grand jury report could provide to Mayor Gillmor. Former 49ers spokesperson Rahul Chandhok, who received a copy of the report from Becker via an encrypted messaging app, was involved in hours-long strategy phone calls with various members of the 49ers' communications team. Their aim was to "own the narrative" by giving the report to a journalist they believed to be "friendly" toward the 49ers, per The Mercury News.
Councilmember Becker's indictment and the emerging details surrounding his case have cast a long shadow over Santa Clara's political landscape, as the city struggles to balance the powerful influence of the 49ers and the growing potential for further political turbulence. As new dimensions of this complex legal drama unfold, the outcome of the case remains uncertain, but its impact on the city and the relationship between Santa Clara's politicians and the 49ers is undeniable.
With the ongoing uncertainty swirling around Becker's case and its ramifications, the political climate in Santa Clara continues to be marked by tension and turmoil, as both the residents and politicians of the city brace for the next chapter in this ever-evolving drama. As the future of Santa Clara's leadership remains unclear, the implications of these recent developments will no doubt send ripples through the fabric of the city's politics, shining a light on the darker aspects of local government and the perils of unchecked power.