Residents weigh in on mayor’s future...

Residents weigh in on mayor’s future

With respect to whether or not Mayor Baglin should be indicted, I

feel he should not.

I worked in city government for more than 17 years and I know how


they function. In this case, everyone knew about Baglin’s

involvement, and if his accepting a commission was illegal, he should

have been advised by the city attorney that this would be a conflict.

The fact that he recused himself from the negotiations would have


alerted the city attorney to his involvement, and the city attorney

had an obligation to inform Wayne of any potential problems.


Laguna Beach

Mayor Wayne Baglin should absolutely not be indicted.


Laguna Beach

I dined with a few neighbors here in Laguna Beach last evening,


and they all (except, apparently, me) wanted Wayne Baglin to be

jailed for what he did.

My point to them, and for all of us to consider for the long run

(when our children and their children will be affected) is, if

someone like Baglin, who has been a trusted and very successful

public citizen for years and is a former mayor, is not an acceptable

office holder, who do we expect to sacrifice their lives to run for

office and subject themselves to the rancor and unending gratuitous


complaints of those who’d rather sit back and complain?

Is there anyone you could respect who would choose to expose

themselves to this rain of diatribe on an ongoing basis?

Baglin did apparently accept a commission on a piece of property

that he was involved in representing even before his candidacy for

mayor. He then recused himself from voting upon the matter after

revealing his involvement to his fellow council members and the

public at large (after all, the City Council meetings are broadcast

on Channel 30 into our homes every time they meet).

In short, I think even his detractors agree that there was no

criminal intent involved in what he did ....He simply believed he was

acting honorably by fully revealing his involvement.

But note that, in the face of the probability of the city

exercising its privilege of eminent domain, he could have advised his

clients to seek a more generous buyer instead of selling this

important property to the city. Is that what his detractors would

have preferred?

Our U.S. legal system (based on British tort law) was put in place

by our founding fathers to interpret the laws so as to bring about


Our laws are our attempt to create justice. Our system of justice

stands ready to prosecute someone with criminal intent. That’s why

the legal system exists.

If there is no criminal intent, do we really want to persecute or

prosecute our public officials for their views or actions? After all,

every minute that these people spend in court defending themselves,

is a minute when the city’s business is not getting done.


Laguna Beach

Did Wayne Baglin earn a commission on the transaction from Laguna

Beach? No.

Did he recuse himself from the decision to buy the properties in

question? Yes.

Did he try to conceal the fact that he earned a commission from

the sellers? No.

Is this whole tempest in a teapot a bunch of political cods

wallop? Yes.


Laguna Beach

I have been living in Switzerland for the last year and a half and

just recently returned to Laguna Beach.

The other night at dinner, my wife and I were told by some

acquaintances that Wayne Baglin had been recently indicted. I could

not ignore the glee from one gentleman that evening nor the rather

pious statements made in the press this past week by some city

notables, including the mayor emeritus, Robert Gentry.

Having since spoken to residents that both support and reject the

indictment, I have found that the basis for the disagreement is

easily identified.

If one were to step back and look at the entire timeline, one

would need to ignore several points of context.

He represented his client prior to his role as a council member.

This is significant and should not be ignored.

Another fact is, the city was not the only interested party in the

property. Baglin did represent his client and, when the city advanced

its position, he then excused himself from the proceedings.

Those in favor of the indictment seem to ignore the entirety and

pursue a conclusion not based on the reason but rather that of a

legal truth applied incorrectly.

One might easily assume that Baglin has enemies that hold a

grudge. The action on their part is not borne by a noble requirement

of justice, but rather, it would seem, something much less lofty.

The truth is that Baglin has held to his reputation, one that does

not compromise easily, one that may at times appear to be inflexible.

These traits are the very reason that I hold him in high regard,

as I have found him to be a man that sticks to his principals.

This indictment was brought about by the weakest of justice’s

foundational elements and will not stand on its own as common sense

and the context of Baglin’s actions will prevail.


Laguna Beach