Santa Clara city councilmember Becker to be arraigned on perjury charge

A criminal grand jury has indicted Santa Clara City Councilman Anthony Becker for allegedly lying to a civil grand jury.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is set to be arraigned Monday. 

Santa Clara County’s District Attorney Jeff Rosen says Becker denied under oath leaking a report about the council’s unusual relationship with the 49ers. The district attorney's office says such perjury is a felony.

Becker allegedly leaked the report, called "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council," to the football team back in October - just days before it was supposed to be released. 

Now Rosen says Becker will have to show up in court because they say he didn’t come clean about it.  

"This is a classic case of the cover-up being worse than the underlying crime," said Steve Clark, legal analyst and attorney. "I think what they have here is likely clear evidence that they can corroborate the fact that Mr. Becker lied under oath when asked a specific question about leaking that grand jury report."

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Rosen says the report criticized what an oversight committee called an unethical relationship between five of its seven city council members, including Becker, and the San Francisco 49ers. Rosen says Becker gave the report to a local news outlet and then broke the law when he denied leaking the report.   

Rosen released a statement saying in part:  "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 49ers play home games at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium and for years, city leadership has had to balance working with the 49ers and doing what’s best for the community.   

"It shows that they were having these secret meetings with the 49ers representatives in violation of open meeting rules, that apparently they were getting their talking points from the 49er lobbyists," said Melissa Michelson, Menlo College Dean of Arts and Sciences & Political Science professor.      

Rosen also pointed out that Becker’s political campaigns have been financially supported by the 49ers, to the tune of $3.2 million.   

"So, I think for a lot of people, that starts to look like well, who do you represent? Do you represent us, the people of Santa Clara or do you just represent the 49ers?" Michelson said.   

Becker could face up to four years in prison if convicted which also means there’d be a vacancy on the Santa Clara City Council. 

KTVU reached out to Becker for comment, but he didn’t respond in time for this report.