Investigative

Investigative

Santa Clara mayor, school district may have skirted state labor laws

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s property management company and a local school district appear to have violated state labor laws by failing to pay prevailing wages to contractors at an affordable housing site for teachers, a San José Spotlight investigation has found. Casa Del Maestro, located at 3455 Lochinvar Ave., was a first-of-its-kind effort in the...

San Jose politician accused of sharing nude photos 

Tech entrepreneur and politician Gary Kremen is being accused by a former campaign staffer of sharing unsolicited nude photos with them. The staffer said the images coupled with other questionable behavior from Kremen caused emotional and mental anguish, eventually forcing them to quit working for him. The former staffer, who spoke with San José Spotlight...

San Jose mayor’s ally wrote gas exemption to his benefit

A Silicon Valley energy company that lobbied for a last-minute gas ban exemption crafted the policy language it benefited from—with help from Mayor Sam Liccardo’s close friend. San Jose-based Bloom Energy, whose Vice President Carl Guardino is a personal friend to Mayor Sam Liccardo, worked directly with the mayor’s office to shape and write a controversial...

Money and politics: Santa Clara mayor’s family empire

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor might represent a smaller Bay Area city, but there’s nothing small about her business empire. Gillmor, who is up for reelection in 2022, controls a sprawling real estate portfolio that includes strip malls in Santa Clara, swaths of undeveloped land near Gilroy and a small plot in San Bernardino County. Her...

How Sam Liccardo plans to influence 2022 elections

Mayor Sam Liccardo may be leaving San Jose City Hall next year, but the longtime politician isn’t ready to give up power. The city’s top lawmaker wants to have his finger on the pulse of the City Council—and even potentially pick his replacement. Liccardo formed a political action committee in late October to influence the consequential...

Former San Jose council candidate forms shadowy political nonprofit

A new local advocacy group is rallying against San Jose’s policies on gun control and homelessness, but the organization doesn’t want the public to know who is behind it—or who is funding it. The political nonprofit, called Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation, promotes a stance against gun control and the “housing first” approach to solve homelessness—all while...

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