Political Harassment Rises To A New Level As D.A. Raids Mayor Pro-Tem Jefferson Wagner’s Properties and Businesses

Only two days after being the only dissenting vote on the City Manager’s contract amidst a brewing scandal at City Hall with allegations of bribery, corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, a warrant was signed by a judge authorizing the raid of Mayor pro-tem Jefferson Wagner’s properties and business.

Public Corruption specialist and Director of Transparency and Oversight for public information portal malibucalifornia90265.com Rob Joseph weighs in on the raid executed by a dozen officers who ransacked the home looking for evidence to prove his residency in the City limits of Malibu as stated in the warrant dated May 29, 2018.

The warrant served by the D.A.’s office was signed by a judge the same day Wagner voted no on the extension of Feldman’s contract.

The actions taken by the District Attorney’s office is in my opinion, an attempt by individuals within City Hall who have ties to gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa to remove or disqualify Mayor pro tempore Jefferson Wagner from taking office as Mayor of the City in January 2019.

Jefferson Wagner has been a long time resident of Malibu and owner of Zuma Jay’s Surf Shop. Jefferson Wagner’s surf shop has been in business in Malibu for over 40 years, and Wagner is well respected by the residents in the community.

Wagner has always been devoted to  transparency and accountability, and campaigned on the platform to clean up City Hall.

Part of that clean-up was, and is to remove the City Manager Reva Feldman in order to ensure a more open and transparent city government. I was invited to look into allegations of corruption taking place within Malibu City Hall by The Local Malibu editor in chief Cece Woods a few months ago.

In recent weeks as a number of city officials met with myself and Cece Woods to disclose information that I believe is sufficient to warrant criminal investigations into possible money laundering, tax evasion and bribery.

Almost immediately upon meeting with a number of these individuals, a series of events or actions commenced by the District Attorney’s Officer that appeal to be a clear exercise in intimidation and an excessive show of force or color of authority by officer’s from the DA’s office on what originally was an alleged paper violation for construction without a permit and a possible illegal home based business. At least that’s what three agents in tactical vests initially told Wagner’s domestic partner Candace Brown in an early morning unofficial raid at one of his properties.

I reached out to the District Attorney’s Office for comment on the actions of their office only to receive a ‘decline to comment’ which seemed unusual and could lead one to believe that this initial action could have been an off the books operation.

Wagner then received notice after my contact with the DA’s Office this that there was ‘no violation’ and ‘no action being taken’. At this point, it was disclosed from a number of individuals including Jefferson Wagner that Antonio Villaraigosa had personally sought to persuade him and two other council members to renew the City Manager’s contract with the City.

Two of the council members were persuaded to change their positions and vote to renew the contract while Wagner went on record to oppose the contract renewal. Reva Feldman is believed to have had a relationship with a close relative of Villaraigosa, a relationship that Villaraigosa has continued to nurture and maintain today.

I referred the matter to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor for review of possible Brown Act violations. I also personally contacted Villaraigosa via his cell phone and spoke to his daughter who stated that Villaraigosa was unavailable but that he would return my call.

However, I did not receive a return call and shortly after Wagner received notice that one of his properties was being assessed back taxes for a “structure on his property”, a structure that doesn’t exist.

Wagner immediately contacted the county and examiners out to inspect his property. Wagner jokingly added ” if there was a building on his property he would sell it”.

Once The Local Malibu and myself started asking questions regarding the dealings of the City Manager, shortly after, the City adopted a purge or dump policy on government emails coming in and going out of city hall in what appears to be a clear attempt to cover tracks or evade detection on possible shady dealings within city hall.

Wagner refused to comply with a policy that not only does not serve public interest and transparency, it  is a violation of Californian’s uniformed government records retention statute, that requires a minimum of two years retention.

Another council member along with Wagner and others refused to comply with Reva Feldman’s arbitrary and illegal policy, she is believed to have used her administrative access to the city’s computer systems to delete elected officials emails without their approval. Feldman, a city employee, appears to have gone rogue usurping the law and undermining Malibu residents elected representatives.

Just days ago, on May 29, 2018, the city council voted to not only renew Reva Feldman’s contact but to extend it three years, binding the hands of future council not yet elected from removing her from her position.

The council also voted to give her a substantial pay raise, over the next three years making her salary higher than the Mayor of Los Angeles. Malibu City has only approximately 9,000 full time residents. Jefferson Wagner was the only council member who voted against Feldman’s contract renewal.

On the morning May 31stat approximately 7.30 a.m., Wagner and Candace Brown were awoken by pounding on the door. Wagner was ordered to open the door, naked, and he he opened the door to weapons drawn, pointed at his head. Wagner was taken into custody, naked and handcuffed, only able to put a pair of jeans on before being taken outside and directed to sit on the cold cement by officers. Candace Brown,  wearing only a light robe, was ordered outside along with Wagner.

Wagner and Brown repeatedly asked the agents who entered the residence to produce the warrant, the agents refused. In fact at no time, prior too and during  interviews with Wagner and Brown were they ever read their rights and asked to seek council before stating anything that could be potentially incriminating.

Both Wagner and Brown sat outside barefoot and cold for over an hour while agents “tossed the house”, which is a term used by police and it is descriptive of the destructive and absolute disregard and care by those conducting the search of their property. It’s meant to send a message and is clear big brother intimidation and Gestapo tactics.

Wagner and Brown were set out on display for the whole neighborhood to see, half naked, no shirt, no shoes, handcuffed and denied the right to use bathroom or call an attorney. Brown was subjected to search in public that rose to the level of being groped – in public no less.

Once brought inside the residence, Wagner and Brown were separated. Agents denied repeated requests for Brown to use the bathroom and then when she refused to be quiet, a female agent insisted she could use the bathroom on the main floor in plain view of her male officers.

Coming from a law enforcement background myself, this behavior is intended to humiliate the subject and show them who is in charge. When Brown demanded an ounce of decency the female agent took Brown up stairs watching Brown urinate with the door open.

This is beyond what police term as a ‘terry frisk’ for weapons which should have taken place already at the time they were taken into custody. What Brown was subjected to was a sexual assault. The female agent then stood at the door monitoring Brown as she tried to urinate.

Once returned to the main room, Brown managed to get a hold of a tablet and sent me a serious of messages in desperation, not knowing who could help then or who she could trust.


“Many, many DOJ cops here-got us out of bed at 7.30.

Not supposed to be communicating




“Jay handcuffed for at least 1 hr.

Both us outside, bare feet, sitting on concrete. Cold. 1 hr.

Me in light robe. Tossed whole house.

Feel so violated.

Here still. Pee with door open.

Searching Ava at civic center

Searching store

Maybe you go see Zuma Jay’s now.

Get info.


This was not a drug raid, a violent fugitive warrant service, or a high risk warrant service. This was an outrageous violation of decency. As a former cop, I would question the tactics used here as extremely excessive, an abusive show of force.

After five terrifying hours, the agents concluded their ransacking of the home and allowed Wagner to leave without arrest. The warrant which Wagner was finally able to see, was so vague and did not include any information to support probable cause to get the warrant.

Agents entering Zuma Jay’s surf shop are observed on video surveillance searching his store and are heard quite clearly disparaging Wagner, a former sheriff’s deputy and reserve officer.

In statements to the press, the Lisa Soghor, Assistant City Manager speaking on behalf of the city claimed  “this has nothing to do with the City”. No reference to the D.A. raid or support for Wagner was made publicly by any other council members or mayor Rick Mullen. 

The tactics used by the District Attorney’s office have been very heavy-handed and excessive show of force or color of Authority for what appears to be at least from their standpoint a paper violation that is now led them to get a probable cause for a felony – that is fairly vague on its face – and causes one to question how the judge would sign such a warrant without evidence to support the probable cause statement.

Laura Rosenthal’s claim that “the city has nothing to do with this” and that she is “shocked” is very self-serving and suspect since Wagner has openly voiced his concern about activities within the city’s administration.

One of the issues that we have been looking into is a land transfer between Laura Rosenthal and a developer with matters before the city council that had a capital gains for her of nearly $900,000 in just eight months.  This action by the District Attorney’s office very well may be the trigger the investigations we have been seeking with the Attorney General’s, Secretary of State, IRS, the FBI Police Corruption Division and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

This morning, four ATF agents appeared at Wagner’s property based upon a referral from the D.A.’s office and left the premises quickly as they are aware of Jefferson’s status as he is reviewed every 12 months to be in compliance with his business contracts with the film industry and the military.

Public Corruption specialist Rob Joseph reviewing evidence in April after the first raid gathering evidence.

Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year 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 one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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