(BCN) — A Santa Clara City Council member has been charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a civil grand jury about leaking a report critical of the relationship between the council and the San Francisco 49ers football team, prosecutors said Friday.
Councilman Anthony Becker is accused of leaking a then-secret Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury Report to a 49ers employee last October and then lying while under oath to the civil grand jury about the leak, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The report, titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council,” alleged unethical relationships between multiple members of the City Council and the 49ers, whose Levi’s Stadium is located in Santa Clara.
Becker allegedly leaked the report days ahead of its planned Oct. 10 release, sending it to 49ers chief communications and public affairs officer Rahul Chandhok as well as a local media outlet. Along with the felony perjury charge, he has also been charged with a misdemeanor for violating his duty to keep the draft report confidential, prosecutors said.
“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That an elected official would commit perjury and lie under oath before the grand jury strikes at the very heart of our justice system and requires accountability.”
The District Attorney’s Office noted in a press release about the charges that the 49ers have been a strong supporter of Becker’s political campaigns, providing more than $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for Becker’s successful 2020 City Council campaign and his unsuccessful bid in 2022 to be elected mayor.
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49ers spokesperson Brian Brokaw said, “The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney’s Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so. However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time.” Becker is set to be arraigned Monday in San Jose and faces a maximum sentence of four years in county jail, prosecutors said.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday on the charges.
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