The winter of discontent continues unabated for the Milpitas Monarch, Jose Esteves, who complained at last week’s City Council meeting of feeling harassed by Public Records Act requests. (Message to Mayor Esteves: If you already feel harassed, stop reading here.) It would be one thing if the PRA requests were coming from an angry citizen, but almost half of the 66 requests—which ask for phone records, emails, video surveillance, and dates and times the mayor used a key card to enter City Hall—came from Councilmember Debbie Giordano. This caused Councilmember Althea Polanski to request a full report detailing each of the PRA requests. Thanks for doing our job for us, Ms. Polanksi. It turns out the mayor, whom critics accuse of holding an unauthorized wedding on City Hall property earlier this year, may be up to more than just connubial biz. According to people who are familiar with some of the requests, Esteves has been spending a lot of time at City Hall while also on the clock for his day job as an IT specialist with the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Fly has learned that on Aug. 16 and 18 the mayor’s key cards were swiped at City Hall no fewer than 23 times—and at times long before a 7pm City Council meeting on the 16th and a Finance Subcommittee meeting on the 18th. Carl Shulholf, a spokesman for the court, says he can’t release information on whether or not Esteves worked on either of those days because it is a personnel issue. Meanwhile, Milpitas’ city attorney, Michael Ogaz, is saying certain records in the requests are public but not disclosable—whatever that means. But taking a quick look at the mayor’s calendar on the city of Milpitas website, there is no mention of him stopping by City Hall on either of the days in question.
Note: Mayor Esteves responded to Fly’s questions after deadline by calling back during a break from work Wednesday. He denies ever staying on the clock for his job with the Santa Clara County Superior Court while visiting City Hall. On the days in question, Aug. 16 and 18, Esteves says he is not sure why his key card was used at City Hall during hours he would normally be at work. He says he will check his calendar and get back to us. Esteves also denies that a wedding took place at City Hall under his supervision, adding: “How can you have a wedding in thirty minutes?”