Will the mayor’s financial troubles never end?


At the last council meeting a process server came in to serve Mayor Tom Hasse with a civil lawsuit that charged that he borrowed $7,500 from a former friend, Brian Fox, and failed to make any payments on the loan and was in default.

According to the information in the court documents, which Hasse confirmed, he borrowed the money from Fox on May 27, 1999, signed a note to make monthly payments which included interest, and had not made any payments as of the filing of the lawsuit which was June 30, 2000.

Fox is the owner of B. D. Fox and Friends, a successful advertising agency that does a wide variety of advertising and media work in the entertainment field whose quality of ad work is highly regarded. Fox said he took the legal action, because he wanted his money back and he kept getting promises for payment that were not being kept. Hasse said that, despite the note, there was a gentleman’s understanding between them that he would pay back the entire amount of $7,500, plus interest out of the proceeds of a piece of family property that was being sold. He also said there have been some delays in the closing.

In fact, according to Hasse, the escrow did close in early July, just after the lawsuit was filed, and just this week Hasse delivered a check to Fox covering principal and interest. Fox said he intended to dismiss the lawsuit once the check cleared.

Hasse charged that this loan became an issue with Fox after his ex-wife, Kara Fox, joined the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy (MCLC) Board in December 1999.

He then started getting calls from Fox. He said Fox, who was a political activist in the past, and in fact, had early-on created many of the full-page political ads that ran in the Surfside News, was trying to embarrass him only because of the proposed Malibu Bay Company development deal, which has been adamantly opposed by those on the MCLC. This was merely another step by that group to try and discredit Hasse and thereby the deal.

Fox responded that, not only was he not involved politically anymore, but that he himself felt former councilmembers Walt Keller and Carolyn Van Horn should not run again. And, in fact, he declined to participate in the last election campaign even though several people had tried to get him back. Fox said he didn’t care about the politics and all he wanted was his money back, and the reason he served Hasse at the council meeting was that he was “pissed off” at him, and he figured that if he wasn’t going to get his money back, he at least was going to embarrass Hasse.