SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Lies, leaks and litigation -- Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker was indicted on charges of perjury for allegedly lying under oath to a Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury about the leak of a report that detailed an unethical relationship between several city council members and the San Francisco 49ers.
The County's district attorney office announced the charges Friday and DA Jeff Rosen shared a statement reading: "Councilmember Becker violated the public's trust. 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."
Legal Analyst Steven Clark suggests the DA brought on these charges because he believes they'll stick.
"Perjury happens every day, but it's rarely prosecuted because it is difficult to prosecute," Clark said. "The fact that the DA has brought these charges suggests that they have a strong case."
In court documents, prosecutors claim Becker lied under oath in November when he denied leaking a Civil Grand Jury report to Silicon Valley Voice and to the San Francisco 49ers. The leak is charged as a misdemeanor and the alleged lie is charged as a felony.
The report, titled "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council," was leaked to the 49ers' before it was set to be released in Oct. 2022. Becker allegedly sent the report to the team's chief communications and public affairs officer a few days before it was to be publicly released. It detailed what's described as an unethical relationship between several Santa Clara City Councilmembers, including Becker, and the San Francisco 49ers.
Neither Becker, the mayor nor the city council responded to our calls by deadline, but the team sent us this statement today saying: "The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney's Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so. However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time."
After providing millions of dollars into Becker's city council Mayoral race, as well as other local elections, Clark says this latest development will only raise more questions from the community asking if the 49ers have too much power in the city.
As for Becker, Clark says conviction on the felony perjury charge could mean four years of jail time and removal of his city title.
"Perjury is a very serious allegation and it calls into question someone's moral judgment," Clark said. "And when you have a case like this, where you're asked a specific question and you lie under oath, I think this calls into question whether Mr. Becker could continue to serve on the city council."
Becker will appear in court on Monday for his arraignment at 9 a.m.
Stay with ABC7 News for updates on this developing story.