The controversial reign of Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle should be ended.
Both his actions and inactions defy the law of gravity. Ignoring protocol and the law, attorney Doyle has breached the trust of Santa Clara residents, the City Council and possibly even broken the law.
The major case in point is his latest snafu, which has raised the outcry from the public, City policymakers, and the press.
Santa Clara has been embroiled in and burdened by a $3.2 million award made by the court in the California Voting Rights Act lawsuit against Santa Clara. And that cost is going up.
Not wanting to create negative attention by making such a huge payment during the election cycle, Mayor Gillmor, the prior City Council and Attorney Doyle, appealed the court’s decision. This action was, it seems, to prolong the case until after the November election.
The ploy did not work. Three new Councilmembers, who were not supported by Mayor Gillmor, were elected. Suds Jain, Anthony Becker, and Kevin Park joined the Council and, with two existing Councilmembers, Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy, formed a new majority of five to two.
Between the election and the first Council meeting of the year, Attorney Doyle was in the appeals court arguing to overturn the court’s $3.2 million award for not forming voting districts.
Prior to the appeal hearing, Doyle received a letter of settlement from the CRVA plaintiff’s attorney in early December.
Contrary to protocol, common sense, legal responsibility and the law, Doyle sat on the settlement offer letter without telling the Council. “Good grief, Charlie Brown!!!” The Council even held a special closed session meeting specifically to address the pending lawsuit award and appeal.
When attorney Doyle was asked if he had any additional information or material regarding the case, he DID NOT MENTION THE SETTLEMENT LETTER!
This is the kind of plot you might expect in a “B” rate movie. However, Santa Clara residents have been the audience to an awful movie for the past four years. It should not be surprising to see Doyle’s camouflage, collusion, and clandestine chaos, which has been so costly.
Not telling the new Council about the settlement letter was an egotistical gamble by Doyle. If Doyle won, then it might appear to residents that Santa Clara had won. Doyle and Mayor Gillmor could be off the hook.
It did not happen that way.
This is not fantasyland where Mighty Mouse wins again. This is an issue of a million or more of taxpayer dollars that could have been saved. Dollars that might have been preserved by Doyle disclosing the CRVA settlement letter to the entire Council.
Do not forget that Mayor Gillmor and Attorney Doyle also knew about the three warning letters from the CRVA. She, nor he, ever responded. That is how Santa Clara got to this point.
The act of withholding a material matter from Council members is grounds for termination.
Santa Clara cannot afford legal advice from a counselor with unclean hands.