By Cece Woods, Editor in Chief
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on our affiliate site thelocalmalibu.com December 16th, 2020
Monday night, I had the pleasure of witnessing years of reporting on public corruption manifest into a giant b*tch slap in the face of Malibu City Council.
Malibu icon, former mayor and Marlboro Man (fact!), Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, gave city officials both barrels in his sworn affidavit, detailing criminal activity; including bribery, misuse of government and corruption he witnessed while he was a member of city council since 2016.
Wagner’s final farewell as a Malibu City Official was the proverbial middle finger to remaining council members Mikke Pierson and Karen Farrer, as well as out-going members Skylar Peak and Rick Mullen. All of whom, who without question, not only have full knowledge of this criminal activity, they are very likely engaged in it.
The three-hour meeting was jam packed with nauseating farewells, complete disregard for their constituents, telling body language and more – and this was just the night of the swearing in!
Pull the trigger on that popcorn machine people, this is one reality show that is guaranteed until the 2024 election season!
Shortly after the Team Malibu slate, Wagner, Mullen and Peak, was sworn in, they each received an individualized “welcome” message (of sorts) from the king-pin of sleazy California politics, former L.A. City mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Why would a former mayor of Los Angeles reach out to three newly elected Malibu City Council members? Because they make up the majority vote and Villaraigosa has taken a fancy to Malibu – both financially and personally.
It seems Villaraigosa’s relationship with Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman is of great “personal interest” – as was the renewal of her contract (lots at stake here!).
The “welcome” calls made to Peak, Mullen and Wagner was Villaraigosa directly inserting himself into Malibu City politics by flexing his political muscle to ensure Feldman’s contract would be extended – which also guaranteed his interests in supporting Malibu Beach Inn owners, the Mani Brothers, who are very generous campaign donors of the former Mayor of Los Angeles.
Guess who won that arm wrestling contest?
Well it wasn’t Wagner. After Villaraigosa’s call, Peak and Mullen “changed their original position” and Feldman’s contract was renewed. Wagner did not change his position. Instead he stayed true to his campaign promises.
So what do you get for staying true to your campaign promises?
For Wagner, it was a visit from the D.A. – in the form of a raid.
Two days after Wagner was the sole dissenting vote on Feldman’s contract renewal, Jackie Lacey sent her personal hit squad to storm Wagner’s home in Latigo Canyon. The officers handcuffed Wagner and his partner Candace Brown, ordered them outside in insufficient clothing, denied their right to use a bathroom or call an attorney, ransacked their house.
And that my friends is how the DA Jackie Lacey made a very public example of what happens when you don’t support her friend and political ally – and how Antonio Villaraigosa takes a “personal interest” in you.
Yes Malibu, that’s the mafia mentality running our City Hall.
“The actions taken by the District Attorney’s office is in my opinion, an attempt by individuals within City Hall who have ties to gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa to remove or disqualify Mayor pro tempore Jefferson Wagner from taking office as Mayor of the City in January 2019″ said Wagner shortly after the raid.
Over a year later, multiple incidents of harassment by DA investigators who were tailing Wagner for months and zero evidence provided to substantiate their actions, no charges were filed and Lacey’s office closed the case.
Wagner’s affidavit includes allegations of corruption by city council, specifically “soliciting and receiving incentives” and “favors” being done for “friends and/or supporters of Feldman.”
The Malibu Times quoted City Attorney Hogin, who said “any reports of criminal behavior would have been directed to the district attorney”.
Oh trust me, the criminal behavior was not only reported to Hogin – too many times to count – it was also reported to the DA Lacey’s office – multiple times – some of which became the basis of a recall involving Skylar Peak and Rick Mullen in April 2019. The criminal acts include bribery, voter intimidation and harassment in this story released by The Local Malibu, included screen shots of the emails filed in the DA complaint – and this was just involving the recall. Imagine what these guys were up to the other 3 1/2 years!
Reports of harassment, extortion, bribery involving Woolsey Fire rebuilds were rampant and even resulted in the “departure” of at least one member (there are rumors of more) of the Malibu City Planning department who was pilfering money from fire victims and Feldman put a lid on it before the lid was blown off of her illegal operations at City Hall.
So, with all that knowledge and more, the now former City Attorney, who was praised by equally corrupt Supervisor Sheila Kuehl at Monday night’s council meeting, is as complicit in these criminal acts as the criminals themselves.
Without question, December 14th, will go down as a shining moment in Malibu politics. Top vote-getter in the November election, Bruce Silverstein, who was actively supported and endorsed by this publication – NOT the Malibu Times or the Surfside News, presented the affidavit for Wagner in his comments at Monday night’s meeting.
As if that wasn’t a big enough bomb to drop, in one of his first acts as a council member, Silverstein followed up with more fireworks.
The outspoken new council member and openly chief critic of the City Manager requested the scheduling of a special meeting to create a special investigation committee of the city council. Silverstein requested it to be included in the agenda for the first city council meeting of 2021.
Silverstein also encouraged city employees with knowledge of illegal activities to come forward and requested that no documents be deleted from Wagner, Peak or Mullen’s city computers until the investigation could be completed. The latter of which was a noble effort by Silverstein, but I’m sure Feldman started “cleaning house” long before the election knowing her days were numbered.
The countdown is on.
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