Investigative

Investigative

Silicon Valley elite defend nonprofit CEO with dark past

As the civil case against former eBay executive and longtime San Jose political insider Steve Wymer drags on, some experts are raising concerns about a local nonprofit’s decision to hire him as CEO. One of Wymer’s most powerful political allies, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, is meanwhile defending him. Wymer is accused in an ongoing...

The people at the center of Santa Clara County’s concealed gun scandal

The concealed carry gun permits that led to the civil conviction of former Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith on six counts of corruption and willful misconduct belonged to several prominent residents. They include professional athletes, business leaders and the former head of the San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP, who ended up losing his permit after...

San Jose hired firefighter accused of misconduct

San Jose this summer hired a firefighter recruit about three years after he lost his paramedic license for trying to initiate an inappropriate relationship with a patient, raising serious questions about the city’s hiring process for public safety workers. Brian Turner, 32, was hired by San Jose on June 26 as a firefighter recruit —...

Silicon Valley school conflict leaves students in limbo

On the first day of classes at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, a PE teacher greeted Evan Myers’ seventh period construction management class. It was unusual, but the sophomore took it in stride. Then the class, which teaches construction skills like using tools, began skipping all of the hands-on activities they had planned. Several weeks into the...

Santa Clara mayor asks Newsom to give campaign donor a break

Santa Clara’s mayor is lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom to help a major real estate firm save money on the largest mixed-use development planned in the state—months before the developer made a six-figure donation to her campaign. Mayor Lisa Gillmor wrote a letter to Newsom on March 4 advocating that Related Companies, which is developing a massive $8 billion...

State complaint filed against San Jose mayoral candidate

San Jose Councilmember Matt Mahan’s mayoral campaign is at the center of a complaint filed Friday with the state labor commissioner, three days after San José Spotlight reported potential labor law violations. The freshman councilmember is being accused of misclassifying campaign workers as independent contractors. A San José Spotlight investigation earlier this week revealed that...

San Jose candidate could be flouting California labor law

One San Jose mayoral candidate appears to have violated state labor laws by treating—and paying—his campaign workers as independent contractors instead of employees. San Jose Councilmember Matt Mahan‘s mayoral campaign lists its workers—from volunteer coordinator to deputy field director to campaign manager—as “consultants” in campaign finance disclosure forms, according to analysis by San José Spotlight....

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...