NATIONAL NEWS

Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

Apr 14, 2023, 7:50 PM

FILE - Fans tailgate at Levi's Stadium before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers ...

FILE - Fans tailgate at Levi's Stadium before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury for allegedly lying about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday, April 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury for allegedly lying about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is accused of providing the secret report titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council” to the team’s former top spokesperson and a local media outlet in 2022, days ahead of its official release.

Becker then allegedly lied to the grand jury about the leak, prosecutors said, prompting the criminal charges.

The 49ers play in Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, about 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) south of San Francisco. The team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors say the team has bankrolled Becker’s political career by spending $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for his 2020 city council race, which he won, as well as his unsuccessful 2022 mayoral bid.

The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report alleged that Becker and four other councilmembers regularly voted “in a manner that is favorable to the 49ers” and would routinely meet with the team’s lobbyists but not disclose what was discussed.

Becker faces a felony charge of perjury under oath, as well as a misdemeanor charge of willful failure to perform duty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Becker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” Santa Clara County 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.”

Representatives for the Santa Clara City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Santa Clara County is broadly considered home to Silicon Valley.

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Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak