PRESS RELEASE - Malibu City Council Makes the Interviews and Related Documents from Report of the Investigation into Allegations of City Corruption Available to the Public
On December 10, 2021, Lawyers Evan Jenness and George Newhouse, who were hired by the Malibu City Council to investigate allegations of City corruption in the Wagner Affidavit, submitted to the City Council an appendix of interviews and related documents from their report of the findings of the investigation. At the direction of the City Council, the documents were redacted only to remove personal identity information of witnesses. The City does not endorse the contents of any report, has not independently verified the facts contained in any report, and was not responsible for any of the redactions contained in the report. The documents are available to review.
PRESS RELEASE - MALIBU CITY COUNCIL MAKES THE REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
December 6, 2021
CORRECTION (December 7, 2021) – The original press release stated: "After public comment and a short discussion, the Council voted unanimously to make the report available to the public, allowing only for the redaction of personal and confidential information." The correct information is that the City Council voted to redact only personal identity information of witnesses.
CORRECTION (December 10, 2021) - Lawyers Evan Jenness and George Newhouse, who were hired by the Malibu City Council to investigate allegations of City corruption, notified Mayor Paul Grisanti on December 9, 2021 of an error it made in its report to the City Council about the findings of the investigation. As noted in the letter to Mayor Grisanti, “The report incorrectly states that J. Flo (“JJ”) Katz did not respond to multiple requests for an interview (see p. 6, Part III(D)(3), p. 8, fn. 4). In fact, Ms. Katz did contact Mr. Newhouse by phone on July 28, 2021, on her own initiative.” The letter is available to review.
During the November 30, 2021 Council meeting, the Malibu City Council voted unanimously to make the report of the findings of the investigation into former Councilmember Jefferson Wagner’s allegations of corruption available to the public.
Nearly one year ago, the City Council was presented with an affidavit by outgoing City Councilmember Jefferson Wagner alleging wrongdoing and corruption in City government. Shortly thereafter, the City Council retained lawyers Evan Jenness and George Newhouse to conduct an investigation into the allegations. Their final report was provided to Councilmembers on October 28, 2021. At its November 8 meeting, the Council requested to discuss at a future meeting whether to make the final investigative report publicly available.
On November 30, Interim City Attorney John Cotti advised that the final investigation report was protected from disclosure under State law, but acknowledged that the Council could waive any protection afforded the report and authorize its release. After public comment and a short discussion, the Council voted unanimously to make the report available to the public, allowing only for the redaction of personal identity information of witnesses.
The report can be viewed at: www.MalibuCity.org/WagnerAffidavitReport. The cover letter to Mayor Grisanti accompanying the report can be viewed at: www.MalibuCity.org/WagnerAffidavitLetter. Additional materials will be released as they become available.
Video of the item during the November 30 Council meeting can be viewed on the City Youtube channel (starting at 5:53:00).