The former chief lobbyist for the San Francisco 49ers has testified that a member of the Silicon Valley city council illegally leaked a confidential report criticizing the team’s political influence, it was reported Friday.
Rahul Chandhok told a criminal grand jury on March 21 that Santa Clara City Council member Anthony Baker digitally sent him the report — which was made by the civil grand jury — last October, the San Francisco Chronicle reported as part of his testimony. pointed out after reviewing a transcript.
Prosecutors accused Baker of providing the secret report to Chandhok and a local news outlet before its official release, and then lying to the grand jury about it.
He has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of perjury under oath and one misdemeanor count of willful failure to perform a duty. If convicted, he could face up to four years in state prison.
The 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, approximately 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team, and the two sides have fought for years through ethics complaints and legal disputes.
Santa Clara County prosecutors said the football team controlled his political career by spending at least $3.2 million through independent spending committees to fund Baker’s 2020 city council victory and unsuccessful mayoral bid last year.
The civil grand jury report, titled “Unsportsman Like Conduct: Santa Clara City Council,” alleged that council members routinely voted “favorably to the 49ers.”
Chandhok said in his testimony that Baker sent him a copy of the report four days before it was made public and a month before the mayoral election, the Chronicle said.
Chandhok said that after this he started working to blunt the impact of the report.
The Chronicle noted that following news coverage of the report, Chandhok called the attack “a shocking political hate job” in a statement, also alleging that the civil grand jury members who released it were corrupt and promoted. where they lived and worshipped.
“The 49ers are committed to being positive and contributing members of our community,” the team said in a statement Friday. “As the transcript relates to an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”