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An investigation into alleged wrongdoing at City Hall promoted by claims by former City Council member and mayor Jefferson Wagner could wrap up in the next few months.
In April, the city contracted with attorneys Evan Jenness and George Newhouse to investigate various allegations made by Wagner in the form of an affidavit he made public at the City Council meeting of Dec. 14, 2020 — the last night of his second and last term. He claimed, among other things, that a vendor, whose name he could not recall but indicated could be in city attorney files, offered trips and cash in return for favorable treatment.
Wagner also claims politics motivated a raid on his home in 2018.
Jenness and Newhouse are to report their findings to the City Council and provide appropriate legal advice.
A statement from the city released July 12 says Jenness and Newhouse provided an update four days earlier to the appointed “client representatives,” council members Karen Farrer and Bruce Silverstein.
“According to counsel, they have interviewed numerous witnesses and are presently evaluating the information received from those witnesses,” according to the statement. “They continue to identify additional witnesses and documents that bear on the factual and legal issues raised in the investigation.”
The attorneys expect to conclude the investigation within the next few months.
As mayor, Mikke Pierson pledged the city would be prepared to take any legal action necessary in response to any possible criminal activity stemming from the Wagner complaint.
“There is absolutely no place for any corruption of any sort at Malibu City Hall,” Pierson said at the time. “Should any corruption be discovered at City Hall, the city will take all appropriate legal actions in response. We welcome the scrutiny.”