Public Corruption Specialist Blasts Bogus City “Investigation” Which Ignored the Existence of Key Evidence and FBI Probe into Former City Manager Feldman’s Involvement
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Public Corruption Specialist Blasts Bogus City “Investigation” Which Ignored the Existence of Key Evidence and FBI Probe into Former City Manager Feldman’s Involvement

Public Corruption specialist Rob Joseph, a previous contributor to The Local Malibu responds to the City’s release of interviews in the investigation into former City Council Jefferson Wagner’s Affidavit submitted to Council alleging corruption at City Hall before and during Reva Feldman’s term as Malibu’s City Manager.

Joseph, a former Salt Lake City law enforcement officer and witness for the FBI with over 20 years’ experience in Public Corruption responded to the “great ‘hit’ peice to support a ‘whitewash’ and CYA for Malibu City… fleecing Malibu taxpayers $112,000.”

Joseph’s response included the following:

“In addition to Bruce Silverstein’s statements to the Malibu Times this week, he messaged me after the report came out and told me he was disagreed with many of the conclusions and believes that “the tone of the report is unprofessional and unjustified.” (Silverstein’s comments were in response to Joseph’s original message to Silverstein regarding the Newhouse “Investigation”)

Joseph goes on to state the reasons for not participating in the ‘investigation”:

1) Newhouse, a former DOJ Public Corruption prosecutor that now largely represents public officials being criminally charged with public corruption.

2) The very possibility that Newhouse’s law firm or partners may have made contributions to individuals either directly connected to the investigation or close associates.

3) A possibility that individuals involved may be clients of his firm and/or associates and a conflict may arise. (Linda is researching campaign donations from Newhouse and associates).

4) The likelihood that the investigation was a fact-finding exercise to see what we had and whitewash or discredit the allegations and/or witnesses.

5) My information was proprietary, and I did not have permission to disclose individuals who feared retaliation. I was right…they have slandered everyone who participated by making their statements and interviews public.

6) The information was already turned over to the FBI starting Jan-March 2019.

7) I had no obligation to participate.”

Bias Investigation and Attempt to Discredit Witnesses

I advised Silverstein initially, and later stated on Malibu Facebook pages that I doubted it would be an unbiased investigation and would simply be an attempt to discredit the witness and allegations.

Well, now we can break the investigation down and show how unprofessional and biased it is. Just speaking for myself as an example. I did not respond to any requests to participate (I am a witness for the FBI) and yet a great deal of the exhibits focus on me…a non-participate…all to harass, intimidate, disparage, and discredit me.

Clearly, Newhouse misrepresents everything, and cherry picks information in a very deceptive manner. Newhouse claims I have no experience in public corruption without any research. Newhouse excludes a lot of information about my involvement in public corruption cases posted on my web page and in media, and yet surprisingly published references from a former US Attorney who stated that he had worked with me, 2 former Attorney’s General and a sitting District Attorney.

Had he taken any time to do an objective investigation he would have found out the ‘Truth” as he states as his objectives’ statement. None of those people were contacted. Newhouse, if he had done any research, would have found out that I was right in the thick of the largest political scandal in Utah history. The same 2 Attorney’s General who were indicted wrote favorable reviews for me. I was identified as a key witness in the Swallow indictment case and was asked to file affidavits in a FEC case involving Swallow in DC.  Had Newhouse spoke to DA Rawlings he would know that I was recruited to work with the FBI public corruption directly on the Swallow/Shurtleff case and later other cases involving the current AG Reyes and former Governor Herbert.

Additionally, had Newhouse talked to former Utah Homeland Security Director and Deputy Commissioner Verdi White, he would know that as a result of my personal involvement, the Salt Lake Community College Police department was shut down and taken over by DPS and the Utah Transit Authority police contract was dissolved with the Wackenhut Corporation and taken in-house, forcing them to only use fully certified police officers. Verdi White would also be able to share that former Governor Leavitt sought my help in terminating former DPS Commissioner Dearden. DA Rawling would tell Newhouse that I am currently working on high profile cases with him and as result of my involvement the FBI joined in.

Instead, Newhouse cherry picked information on a bogus police action against me that resulted in a dismissal and determination of Justified by the court, and later 2 Grand Jury Panels comprising 5 sitting judges each who unanimously determined I was ‘wrongfully charged’ in my shooting and there was ‘sufficient evidence’ to suggest the police and former DA falsified reports, tampered with witnesses and evidence and suborned perjury.

Newhouse might have even taken the time to see that Dr. Phil investigated this years ago and exposed it on his show and/or that I have appeared on local and national news on high profile cases, Dateline, Inside Edition and presently appear on COURT TV 2-3 times a week as a police use of force and public corruption expert. (Just an example of Newhouse’s bias).

Timelines on resignations or departures by Hogin and Feldman would suggest there was something to the allegations.

Jefferson released his affidavit which resulted in an investigation ordered by Malibu City. Once that became publicly known and talked about on at least 2 Malibu Facebook pages, I disclosed information about Christi Hogin and an email I sent to her addressing her failure to act on Jefferson’s allegations. That email somehow made it to Los Angeles DA investigator Robinson (Investigator in Jefferson Wagner case) who then called me and demanded I come to his office and subject myself for an interview. He asked what evidence I had to support the allegations in the email. At that point I advised I would not submit to an interview and then asked him who gave him the email. (Note: He has the email, I have the email and Newhouse doesn’t mention anything about it in his very ‘cherry picked’ and biased report). Hogin denied any knowledge of Wagner’s bribery claims in the Newhouse report.

In any event, I advised Robinson that I would be happy to send him everything that I had turned over to the FBI. That got his attention. I told him of my experience working with FBI public corruption Agents in Utah and how one of those agents served in Afghanistan with the regional director of public corruption in California.

That regional director called me on a Sunday evening and told me he has instructed field agents in Santa Monica to facilitate a meeting/interviews. Special Agent Michael Chi called me, and we exchanged emails and phone calls. I asked Robinson to email me, and I would send him the information. Robinson did not email me, and Jefferson’s case went nowhere and was ultimately dismissed…and I never heard from Robinson again. Just on its face, the DA’s office following Jefferson around for a couple of months and arresting him with a full SWAT team in the way they did it on a founded or unfounded perjury charge is absolutely excessive. The timing of it is even more suspect.

Newhouse in his defective report states that there was no pre-arranged meeting with the FBI and then claims I just walked in with Jefferson unannounced and doubts any interview took place. Newhouse also falsely claims that that encounter took place after Jefferson’s affidavit was made public.  I have the emails that clearly establish pre-arranged meetings and interviews being set up in Jan 2019. Once I addressed these ‘FACTS’ and provided communications with DA investigator Robinson to establish timelines on the Malibu Facebook page, Christi Hogin resigned shortly thereafter.

Once again in Jefferson Wagner’s defense, I publicly stated on the Malibu Facebook page that I walked Wagner into the FBI Santa Monica field office to open an FBI investigation/probe…and I identified Reva Feldman as a primary subject. Reva shortly thereafter resigned and threatened to sue the city and those making allegations. I was advised that the City called a meeting to discuss legal representation and it was determined that the City Attorney would defend against a potential lawsuit(s). Feldman through her attorney then rescinded her termination I was told, and the City Council allowed it and then agreed to her request for indemnification in the event of any type of future prosecution or legal action against her, and then paid her a $300,00 severance.

Both Hogin’s and Feldman’s prompt departures are not coincidental.


These are just a few examples to show the bias and misrepresentation of facts by the Newhouse report. Either Newhouse and/or his staff are so incompetent, or they acted with egregious and deliberate malice. Making the report public and putting the witnesses at risk for potential retaliation/harassment rests with the city who made a very conscious determination to do so.

Newhouse in his reports states that the interviews are confidential and privileged but stated that it was up to the city if they make it public. A review of the report and the deliberate and/or irrelevant attacks on witnesses and non-witnesses like myself would suggest that the report was intended to smear everyone’s character and discredit the allegations. The report is not even close to an unbiased search for the truth as Newhouse suggests, but it is more like a defense pleading or a response motion by a defense attorney.


The city can NOW expect a lawsuit(s) for harassment and defamation.

Attachments in response to Newhouse’s fact-finding search for the truth report:

Christi Hogin emails dated June 4 & 11, 2018 contradicting Hogin statements to Newhouse.

FBI Special Agent Chi emails setting appointment ‘ahead of time’ scheduled meeting contradicting Newhouse statements. Dated Jan 24, 2019.

Press credentials Malibu for Rob Joseph to answer to Newhouse’s attempt to disparage or imply that I was somehow violating law by acting as a private investigator in California.

I have also attached the Salt Lake District Attorney press release of the charges against me and a press conference news report.

Peace Officer Standards and training findings.

Grand Jury Letter stating I was wrongfully charged in an officer involved shooting and sufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing by police and District Attorney investigators.

I know Jefferson Wagner was disappointed I did not cooperate with Newhouse or the more recent DA probe he wanted me to participate in. Jay is as honest as they come but naive in these matters, believing that everyone is a seeker of truth and wants to do the right thing. These investigations are fishing expeditions based upon my personal experience and interactions with the DA’s office. They seek to determine the degree of exposure they may have. The District Attorney’s conduct involving Jefferson Wagner does in my opinion rise to the level of a 1983 Civil Rights violation and I question their motives at this late stage of the game ‘after’ it was made public of a potential FBI investigation. Bruce Silverstein may have had the right intentions, but I believe based upon the report, how the information has been mischaracterized and/or omitted became a shield to deflect against allegations and witness credibility rather than an objective fact-finding search for truth. The report itself and how the investigation was conducted, and Malibu’s deliberate public release would suggest that the investigation had other motives than the truth.

-Rob Joseph”

In addition to Joesph’s statement and documents challenging the validity and credibility of the Newhouse “investigation”, in 2019, I prepared evidence and sworn statements from multiple Malibu residents submitted with a detailed complaint to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
The complaint included alleged bribery, voter intimidation and harassment committed by Council members Skylar Peak, Rick Mullen and then City Manager Reva Feldman.
While my name appears throughout the Wagner investigation, I was never contacted by Newhouse’s firm, or his partners, to participate in the investigation. Newhouse was well aware of the evidence and statements I possessed to support Wagner’s affidavit, as well as my experience as an investigative reporter, which has led to exposing cover-ups and corruption over the last decade. Obviously, this information could significantly impact the outcome of the Wagner “investigation” – and not in the favor of the City.
As a result of my investigative reporting, my influence with law enforcement at the local, state and federal level has grown. In 2020,  I exposed the counterfeit mask cover-up at L.A. Metro which launched multiple federal investigations within 24 hours of publishing, ultimately leading to the departure of former CEO Philip Washington and his name being withdrawn from contention for Secretary of Transportation with the Biden Administration.
Therefore, there will be significant reprercussions as a result of the  Malibu City/Newhouse whitewash of the Wagner investigation which could have a significant impact on the City’s financial future.
The legal liabilities as a result of releasing the “interviews” filled with libelous statements and false claims included in the report – and without evidence to back up those statements – could be the beginning of a class-action suit of historic proportions.
This is a developing story.
December 12, 2021

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Editor in Chief, Cece Woods

Malibu Daily News Editor in Chief Cece Woods founded The Local Malibu, an activism based platform, in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of two ballot measures, seating three Malibu City Councilmen in 2016 and the supporting the top two vote-getters again in 2020.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings and a few short months later, provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over 1 million hits across her social media platforms.