The city of Santa Monica has hired John Hueston to investigate allegations of retaliatory firing after the city hired, fired, and ultimately settled with a former employee for $710,000 in July.
“This is an engagement that requires a truly independent review and set of recommendations in order to restore confidence in the people of Santa Monica that the city government is abiding by the highest standards of ethics,” Mr. Hueston said.
Mr. Hueston has lengthy experience in leading complex investigations.
In 2009, he was hired as independent counsel for San Bernardino County to investigate allegations of corruption among members of its board of supervisors. The investigation resulted in the indictment of four public employees for extortion, bribery, and other offenses.
Also, as an Assist. U.S. Attorney, Mr. Hueston was a lead prosecutor in the 2006 Enron trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.
“My job is not just to get to the bottom of what happened,” he said, “but also to report publicly what sort of best practice changes can be implemented to ensure good governance, any amendments to municipal laws so that the city is able to operate at the highest level it aspires to be at.”
The investigation is expected to be completed this winter.
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