Santa Clara City Council Member Anthony Becker has been indicted on criminal charges of perjury.
In a news release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Jeff Rosen accused Becker of lying to the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury.
“The councilman falsely denied to the civil grand jury leaking a report critical of what that oversight body determined was an unethical relationship between several
City Council members, including Becker, and the San Francisco 49ers. Such perjury is a felony. Becker leaked the then-secret Civil Grand Jury report – entitled ‘Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council‘ – to Rahul Chandhok, who was at the time the professional football team’s Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer. The leak of the confidential document came several days before it was due to be published. Evidence also shows that the councilperson leaked the report to a small, local media outlet,” read the news release from the District Attorney’s office.
In addition to perjury, the District Attorney has issued a second charge against Becker for “violating his duty to keep the draft report confidential.” That is a misdemeanor.
If convicted of perjury, Becker faces a maximum sentence of four years. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday morning.
Becker has said repeatedly in City Council meetings that he was never interviewed by the Civil Grand Jury before the release of the report on Oct. 10, 2022. The report was released to multiple news agencies including this one, the Mercury News, San Jose Spotlight and the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, three days before the report’s official release.
The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report accuses five of the seven Santa Clara City Council members of forming a voting bloc that often voted in favor of the San Francisco 49ers. It outlined corrections the Civil Grand Jury believed the City should take in order to rectify the situation but never outright accused the council members of any crimes.
The City responded to the report by rejecting most of the report’s findings. However, the City’s response to each finding was based on approval or denial by the City Council, which is comprised of the Council majority singled out in the Civil Grand Jury report.
The Council minority dissented from the City’s response saying it was unreasonable to expect the majority to “police itself.”