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Silicon Valley News Notes

Accusing the Accuser

Some members of the San Jose Elections Commission are implying that Councilmember Nora Campos had something to do with the anonymous complaint field against Tom McEnery, which was brushed aside Friday after months of huffing and puffing by Campos and her allies. And staffers in Campos's office are shocked. (Shocked!) The complaint accused McEnery of shortcutting the city's lobbyist laws while he was putting together plans for his San Pedro Square Public Market project. It was filed by power-attorney James McManis on behalf of an anonymous client who claimed "whistleblower" protection, stating a fear of reprisal from the former mayor. Less than 24 hours after the complaint was filed, Campos released a memo, citing information from the anonymous complaint. In her memo she asked that the council hold off on approving $6 million in redevelopment money that McEnery had requested, until the investigation was finalized. An independent law firm reviewed the charges that McEnery had secretly met with Mayor Chuck Reed and others. Its final report dinged McEnery for taking Councilman Sam Liccardo to a Sharks game, but otherwise concluded that "the evidence fails to sustain the alleged misconduct." Last week, when the election commission met to clear McEnery of wrongdoing, several members said they were a little perturbed that there was no name linked to the complaint. Some commissioners openly made statements about wanting to investigate Campos' role in the matter. Ryan Ford, Campos' chief of staff, was sitting in the back of the room during that meeting. He left feeling a bit puzzled and pissed off. "If they want to investigate how it was distributed, go ahead—we had nothing to do with that," Ford says. "We resent the implication that she had anything to do with it." It's unlikely the commission will ever find out if Campos did have something to do with it. According to City Clerk Lee Price, the commission doesn't have the authority to conduct an investigation of that nature.


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