Mayor Responds to City Hall Corruption Allegations

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Mikke Pierson

In a statement released by the City of Malibu on Thursday, Dec. 17, Malibu Mayor Mikke Pierson said the city would report outgoing City Council Member Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner’s allegations of bribery to “the proper authorities.”

The allegations were made in a seven-page affidavit signed by Wagner and presented to the city council on Monday, Dec. 14, by newly elected council person attorney Bruce Silverstein.

“At Monday night’s city council meeting, we were first made aware of an affidavit from outgoing Council Member Jefferson Wagner that contains allegations that a bidder tried to bribe him some years ago. The bidder is unnamed but there is no allegation that the company allegedly offering a bribe was awarded any contract with the city. Wagner also alleges that certain phone calls he received have led him to suspect that the law enforcement raid on his house was politically motivated. Wagner indicates that he does not have personal knowledge of some other incidents but recites that he has heard rumors regarding city employees,” Pierson wrote.

“The City of Malibu is taking the allegations in the affidavit seriously and will convey the affidavit to the proper authorities,” Pierson’s statement continued. “The city is committed to transparency, accountability and ethical conduct in everything it does, both at the staff and council levels. There is absolutely no place for any corruption of any sort at Malibu City Hall. Should any corruption be discovered at City Hall, the city will take all appropriate legal actions in response. We welcome the scrutiny.” 

In a public statement posted on his campaign Facebook page hours later, Silverstein addressed Pierson’s statement, saying that Pierson as mayor did not have the “legal authority” to send out such a message on behalf of the city, adding that he believed the interim city attorney and city manager were working together with Pierson to write the response.

“The lawless manner in which the City of Malibu operates is both atrocious and surreal,” Silverstein wrote. “When will the residents rise up and let their elected officials know that the residents expect the elected officials to act within the bounds of the law and with integrity? I will have more to say in the days to come.”