Poker anyone? A high stakes multi-million dollar poker game is underway between the Manhattan Beach City Council (MBCC) and fired former City Attorney Wadden and fired former City Manager Dolan, both of whom will inevitably file lawsuits against the city. Unfortunately, the residents are providing the stakes.
The latest gambit by Wadden as a veiled threat is his “Supporting Documents for Wadden Claim for Damages (Submitted Under Seal)” to the MBCC which the city returned unopened. Plausibly, it contains the investigation substantiating the allegations of alleged sexual misconduct by Dolan which the city has refused to reveal. If substantiated, the prior MBCC would have to justify why it provided Dolan a $200,000+severance rather than firing him for moral turpitude. Further, revelation of the investigation would violate the nondisclosure terms of the severance, thus aiding Dolan’s case. Be prepared for another “Anonymous Letter” as the one detailing Dolan’s alleged misconduct.
Tragically, we, as residents, will (as these lawsuits grind through the courts) suffer the continual exacerbation of wounds created over 15 years by Dolan and Wadden and by the prior MBCCs who failed to prevent the harms they created, damaging the integrity of public policymaking in Manhattan Beach.
Our prior MBCC settled a lawsuit filed against it admitting violations of open government laws and expending extensive tax dollars to prevent disclosure before capitulating followed by additional penalties. It promised us “commitment to open and transparent government.” This promise has remained unfulfilled by a rear-guard minority of the prior but still present members of the MBCC (Tell and Montgomery) hindering MBCC Council members Lesser, Powell, and Howorth in promoting open government initiatives.
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.
Manhattan Beach resident