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The Malibu City Council is being asked to investigate one of its own over allegations of harassment leveled by City Manager Reva Feldman.
In a letter dated Jan. 16, Feldman, through an attorney, says she is the “main target for harassment” by first-term council member Bruce Silverstein, who won one of three seats in the November 2020 election.
Since taking office, attorney Therese Cannata writes, Feldman has been subjected to “unprecedented personal and professional attacks” by Silverstein, adding the council member “appears be to be acting as a self-appointed ‘special prosecutor’ in pursuit of his paranoid delusions about how the city of Malibu has or is operated through its representatives, including Ms. Feldman.”
The letter concludes with a demand to let Feldman out of her contract, which expires in May 2022. If, by early May, an amicable separation can be worked out that includes a release of claims and a non-disparagement clause, Feldman would leave for $375,000.
Several closed session council meetings over the matter have taken place since then, resulting in a push by Mayor Mikke Pierson and council member Karen Farrer to hire an outside firm “to investigate the allegations of harassment” in the letter.
The council will take up the request on March 8. Pierson and Farrer need just one other vote on the five-member body to approve the item. Assuming Silverstein votes no, a yes vote from either Paul Grisanti or Steve Uhring — the other two winners in the November contest — would give them the votes needed to move the measure forward.
While there’s no cost estimate included on the agenda, city staff says the adopted budget for 2020-21 includes “sufficient funding … to cover the costs of an outside investigator.”