Who needs NFL drama when the best game in Santa Clara is, “Will City Attorney Brian Doyle keep his job?”
Tune in live Wednesday at 5:30pm, when the climax of the city’s internal HR nightmare is scheduled to kick off—four months after Councilmember Kathy Watanabe first blurted out the existence of a secret investigation into Doyle’s performance.
Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain, Kevin Park and Raj Chahal petitioned to hold the special meeting to discuss Doyle’s “discipline/dismissal/release.” Unfortunately, the upcoming meeting is behind closed doors, but any actions taken will be reported after adjournment.
Spectators are already placing bets, aligning allegiances and letting it flow on social media, including Doyle himself. The city’s barrister since 2017 accused residents of defamation and Brown Act violations on Facebook, saying he’s “unable to disclose the truth about what really happened due to my duty of confidentiality.” While a historically difficult claim to prove, them’s fighting words from an attorney with a history of “rude behavior, partisan conduct and bad advice,” according to the city’s not so neutral local weekly.
Some residents—typically aligned with Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the old guard—believe Doyle’s potential dismissal is part of 49ers owner Jed York's scheme to take over the city. But is the team’s C-Suite and its half empty Levi’s Stadium truly to blame?
While the meeting lists “no cause,” the four councilors have been vocal critics of Doyle’s mishandling of the $6 million CVRA lawsuit, and City Hall insiders have long needed to smooth over the blunder. York’s $3 million in generosity to several 2020 election campaigns provide little relief against pushback that the donation recipients are doing the 49ers’ bidding—whatever that means.