Former 49ers lobbyist testifies receiving illegally leaked report about team’s political influence

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The former San Francisco 49ers chief lobbyist testified that a Silicon Valley councilman illegally leaked a confidential report criticizing the team’s political influence, it has been reported. Friday.

Rahul Chandhok told a criminal grand jury on March 21 that Santa Clara City Council member Anthony Becker digitally sent him the report — which was written by a civilian grand jury — last October, the San reported. Francisco Chronicle after reviewing a transcript of his testimony.

Prosecutors accuse Becker of providing the secret report to Chandhok and a local media outlet before it was officially released and then lying to the grand jury about it.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of perjury under oath and one count of willful dereliction of duty. He could face up to four years in state prison if convicted.

The 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, about 55 miles south of San Francisco. Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team, and the two sides have been feuding for years over ethical complaints and legal disputes.

Santa Clara County prosecutors say the football team funded Becker’s political career by spending at least $3.2 million through independent spending committees on his 2020 City Council winning run and a failed bid for mayor last year.

The civil grand jury report, titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council,” alleged that council members routinely voted “in a manner favorable to the 49ers.”

In his testimony, Chandhok said Becker sent him a copy of the report four days before it was released and a month before the mayoral election, the Chronicle reported.

Chandhok said he then began working to mitigate the impact of the report.

Following media coverage of the report, Chandhok attacked it as “a shocking political ax job” in a statement which also alleged that the civil grand jurors who released it were corrupt and had made public where they lived and worshiped, said the Chronicle.

“The 49ers are committed to being a positive and contributing member of our community,” the team said in a statement Friday. “As the transcripts relate to an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment further at this time.”


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