RESIDENTS OUTRAGED: Community Members Demand Action At City Council Meeting

Members of the community expressed outrage and deep concern at the June 11th City Council meeting over the allegations and tactics in association with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s felony perjury investigation against mayor pro-tem Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner. The investigation, which began months ago, resulted in the May 31st raid on three properties, simultaneously, with 18-24 officers responding, many in tactical gear and assault rifles.

The May 31st raid was the second attempt by the D.A. at investigating Wagner. The first visit to Wagner’s Latigo Canyon property on April 16th was, according to the D.A., based on “anonymous tip” of a shed violation and illegal business run out of Wagner’s home. This type of “paper violation”, typically investigated by L.A. County Building and Safety, curiously ended up on the desk of the District Attorney.

According to the D.A. who spoke with Wagner on April, 19th, the investigation was “closed with no further follow up”.

On May 31st, two days after being the only dissenting vote on City Manager Reva Feldman’s contract, The Local received a message on social media from a neighbor informing us of the presence of 6-8 unmarked units and officers from the D.A.’s office. The Local was first on scene, documenting the raid, speaking with officers and Wagner who was very clear in speaking out to the media after the 5 hour raid : “This is a waste of City resources”.

Wagner and his domestic partner Candace Brown gave the Local (and other news sources) a first hand account of their treatment, which we reported in detail, verbatum, and released immediately thereafter.

The response from residents was very clear, appalled by the reports of how Wagner and Brown were treated, and in support of Wagner, a beloved member of the community and Malibu icon, demanding answers – and action – from City Council.

Wagner’s speech was gracious to his colleagues, as he is always, yet clearly coached by his attorney, Gary Smith, when it came to addressing details of the investigation asking the community to “rely on the facts from the D.A.’s office (for the record, The Local has repeatedly reached out the the D.A., receiving only  a “decline to comment” therefore relying on our own investigative reporting).

Smith, along with others, addressed council during Public Comment:

“Jefferson is deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support of all kinds from the community where he has been an iconic figure for decades .,,,,, Jefferson would prefer to tell you these things himself but as I am sure you can understand he has reluctantly to agree to follow my advice and refrain any comments during an on going investigation .Until the matter concludes I don’t think we are going to have any further comments…” – Gary Smith, Attorney for Jefferson Wagner 20:07

“I am asking you all to please send a letter to the District Attorneys office reciting what happened to a resident of our community asking her to investigate the …of the whole thing and you might also want to include a reference to the two articles in The Local newspaper reciting how it went on and showing the photos of the police  officers all over the place . I understand they even had a… squad prepared for an attack.” – Malibu’s First Mayor, Walt Keller 26:17

“I have worked with Jefferson on many different commitees. I am here to tell you that the city of Malibu needs a history of the people who worked to keep the city as it is, and we want you to run the city so those of us who volunteered all of our spare time could rest assured that the city was in good hands. This treatment of Jefferson or anybody else is so apalling to those of us who gave our time for the city. It is really awful.” -Harriet Poland 47:51

“I believe firmly in the positive and constructive role that governmental leaders and governmental institutions can play in advancing society. However, what I see in the political climate, and in the current political environment is an insidious degree of corruption within and public cynicism towards government at all levels and it saddens me. I am particularly concerned about recent events here in Malibu that’s been reported in The Local newspaper regarding the appearance of intimidation and potential corruption with respect to city council member and mayor pro-tem Jefferson Wagner. If such accusations prove to be true, we run the risk of the residents of Malibu to fall prey to the suspicions of its leaders and government institutions. It is extremely important that this city council uses all of its power to get to the bottom of this. I ask you, who is absolutely indignant at such suggestions? Show of hands? You should ALL BE OUTRAGED! I don’t see one hand raised! There is one… Let the record note that Jefferson Wagner raised his hand…This IS OUTRAGEOUS !! And I would like to ask this  council to support a thorough investigation into these allegations. I have a second request, has there been a reputation of reported incidents? Has any entity, legal law enforcement or others stepped forward to dispute the events that have been reported? I call this City council to convey in the strongest possible way the importance of looking into this issue and report back to its citizens as soon as possible. This issue is vitally important to your credibility.”-Lance Simmons 21:50

Mayor Pro-Tem Jefferson Wagner conferring with City Attorney Christi Hogin before the June 11th Malibu City Council meeting.

“…As a former federal prosecutor I found the Gestapo like tactics of the people who raided him and his lady to be a gross over reach . So… If you want to do anything I have a few questions for you. Who were the complainants  who caused the search warrants to be issued? Question two… does it have anything do with the search warrants being issued on the same day as Zuma Jay was the sole city council men dissenting the 3 year extension of the contract of city manager Reva Feldman at a salary higher than the mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Gil Garcetti ? Did it have anything to do with the fact that Zuma Jay was a a strong and vocal critic of the efforts by Joe Edmiston to place a public park on a private road in the Sycamore Park area in the City of Malibu without done without any approval from the city of Malibu?Did it have anything to do with the fact that Zuma Jay was a critic of the 82  acre Bluffs Park land swap deal with Joe Edmiston to trade 532 acre Charmlee Wilderness for the 82  Bluffs Park ?? And did it have anything to do with Reva Feldman who worked for Joe Edmiston for many years before she came to work with the City of Malibu?”-Ted Vail 32:39

“It is not right anywhere, especially in Malibu, or South Central  LA, Harlem, wherever, to roust people and roust there homes and an overkill with cops. There was no way that anybody needed 6-8 sheriffs or police…especially in a non violent situation. The City should protest… this type of police action is not welcome anytime, any where.”-John Mazza 34:30

“I just wanted to come say a few words for someone that has been a very upstanding person in this community. We are every upset about how this all went down when it was so public, So PUBLIC that Jefferson purchased a condominium within the City Limits so he could serve again for our City. I think he is the most informed people on the city council in the way that he works at his surf shop and sees all the biggest problems. It is such a waste of tax dollars, City dollars, and LA County dollars. This is NOT the Malibu that I grew up in. – Annie Ellis

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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