The case still is sealed revealing what and who prompted the county District Attorney to turn loose 22 investigators on a recent morning to search two residences and a business in Malibu linked to long time local resident and present pro tem Mayor Jefferson Wagner.
As I comment on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites, who might know is not saying, certainly not now having seen the support for Wagner, guilty of whatever or not, and the questioning of the actions by the DA’s office. We’re not talking here of potential crimes against persons and property, terrorists acts, drug deals and me too entertainment industry incidents, certainly not in our Malibu.
To be sure, DA Jackie Lacey has some explaining to do, and not in a vague press release slipped under the door on Saturday morning of a holiday weekend. It is time for some transparency to counter the paranoia swirling on the local scene.
This is a case that should not disappear, whether the city comes to the defense of Wagner or not, as has been urged by an outpouring of city residents, some of whom have funded a lawyer for Jefferson.
One asks what else does the city council do anyhow, except bark like trained seals in approving the issues and items dutifully prepared for them like fish snacks by the inveterate city manager and city attorney in the bunker that has become City Hall.
Meanwhile, the fumbling governance of Malibu by a sadly neophyte City council continues to exasperate, witness its distressing yielding to a self serving, bloated bureaucracy and well compensated consultants. And for this the council actually congratulates itself. Lost in its hazy, lazy ways is oversight and accountability.
It is no wonder that specious conspiracy theories persist, as well as rumors of past favors and future sinecures. Yes, small town politics, be it middle America or Malibu, stumbles on.
Sustaining it is what can be described as a cult of amiability, cultivated by Malibu’s modest size where most people know who their neighbor are, if not their names, certainly the names of their pets, thanks to social media.
It is this cult that no doubt prompted Wagner to in effect apologize this week for the no vote of confidence by his council colleagues while testifying to their good intentions.
Amiable, yes, and that is what makes Wagner so liked. But it also makes him not as forthright as what is needed now to save Malibu further embarrassment as a slipshod city.
And I say that as a friend, and also as someone concerned about our failing democracy, locally as well as nationally.