On September 2oth, the Malibu Daily News broke the story of the former chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission and distinguished attorney Ann Ravel’s letter to City officials regarding her intention to file a formal complaint with the FPPC against Council members Paul Grisanti and Marianne Riggans and their appointments to the Planning Commission, Dennis Smith and Skylar Peak.
The Malibu Daily News obtained the detailed letter provided by Ravel, who was contacted to investigate the actions of Planning Commissioners Skylar Peak and Dennis Smith who have previously refused to recuse themselves from voting on building projects they can financially benefit from.
The letter dated August 16, 2023, addressed to Malibu City Attorney Trevor Rusin and City Manager Steve McClary, demands Malibu Planning Commissioners Peak and Smith either resign or be dismissed immediately from their positions due to “disqualifying financial interests in virtually all development applications that come before them, because it is reasonably foreseeable that their voting on them will have a material effect on one or more of their own financial interests.”
Ravel’s 14 page letter provides in-depth information on Peak and Smith’s activities and interests that disqualify them from their positions as Planning Commissioners under the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Upon receipt of that letter, neither McClary or Rusin responded to Ms. Ravel and their intentions on addressing the matter, nor did they notify members of City Council of the letter’s existence according to multiple city officials.
Ravel gave this exclusive quote to The Malibu Daily News:
“The rationale for conflict of interest laws is that the people are entitled to public officials who work for the people and not in their financial self interest. ‘Work for the people and make decisions on behalf of the City” and not in their financial self interest’.”
The City was officially notified of the complaint on October 3rd, 2023 which also includes City Manager McClary and interim City Attorney Trevor Rusin.
While city council members and commissioners Peak and Smith have dismissed Ravel’s letter informing them of her intent to file the complaint on record, now that the complaint has officially been filed, Grisanti, Riggins, Peak, Smith, McClary (with interim City Attorney Rusin copied) have 14 days to respond.
Council member Bruce Silverstein contacted Ms. Ravel today asking for additional documentation accompanying the official FPPC complaint.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information is available.