SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Santa Clara’s city manager has announced he is stepping down amid his allegations of racial discrimination and a grand jury investigation into questionable finances at Levi’s Stadium.
Julio Fuentes says he will leave his post by May 31 after three years on the job.
Meanwhile, Santa Clara is investigating Fuentes’ accusations of discrimination and a hostile work environment because of his Hispanic heritage.
Two days before Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, Fuentes reportedly leveled his discrimination allegations during a loud argument with a city councilmember.
Fuentes’ announcement comes less than a month after the abrupt resignation of the city’s mayor, Jamie Matthews, the day after the Super Bowl. Matthews’ replacement, Lisa Gillmor, is known to have clashed with both Fuentes and Matthews over how business is conducted at City Hall.
For months, a civil grand jury has been looking into the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which oversees operations at Levi’s Stadium.
Neither Fuentes nor Gillmor were available for comment. Gillmor issued a statement saying the city would “move forward in an open and transparent way.”
A citizens’ watchdog group pointed to the city’s recent turmoil as evidence that changes are necessary at City Hall.
“I think the wheels are coming off the train right now. I wonder what’s next,” said Deborah Bress of Santa Clara Plays Fair. “We have a city that used to be very open and friendly to its citizens that isn’t.”
Bress’ group has been outspoken with its criticism of Santa Clara’s stadium deal, as was Gillmor and others on an often-divided city council.
Bress is one of 17 people who have applied to fill the vacancy on the city council created by Gillmor’s move into the mayor’s office.
Among the pressing items for the city council is a multi-billion dollar development project on city-owned land next to Levi’s Stadium.