SANTA MONICA—An independent review of Santa Monica’s Charter City best practices was released by John C. Hueston, of the firm Hueston Hennigan LLP, on Monday, April 18. The firm was chosen by the Santa Monica City Council to be the city’s outside advisor.
The review was brought forth due to the 2014 revocation of an employment offer made to Elizabeth Riel and complaints of the alleged violations of the city of Santa Monica Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000.
Mayor Tony Vazquez said in a press release, “Our City Council prioritized and invested in this independent report and will carefully review the findings and recommendations at our next Council meeting. Transparency is a top priority and it is our hope that this process will help strengthen our city practices.”
On Monday, the report was posted to the City Manager’s page on the smgov.net website. The report will be posted to the city clerk’s page in the coming days and will be part of the agenda for the Tuesday, April 26 City Council Meeting. Hueston will be in attendance to give his findings to the council.
“The Hueston Report validates Santa Monica’s commitment to open government and transparency,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “In addition to constructive recommendations for enforcing the Oaks Initiative, it exhaustively documents the facts of Elizabeth Riel’s dismissal, identifying unfortunate lapses in judgment and pointing the way to improve our processes going forward. It demonstrates yet again that we accept responsibility for holding ourselves to the highest standards of public service.”