Skip to Content

Los Angeles Magazine removes three articles critical of former Santa Barbara Police spokesman

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — In mid-March 2021, Los Angeles Magazine sent shockwaves across the South Coast when they posted an article accusing corruption in Santa Barbara. The article eventually was removed less than a year after it was published after it was proved to be factually inaccurate.

Guest writer, Mitchell Kriegman, known best for creating the Nickelodeon show “Clarissa Explains It All”, authored the article titled “In Sleepy Santa Barbara, a City Hall Insider Is Raising Eyebrows”. As of Monday, no other Kriegman articles appeared on the Los Angeles Magazine website.

On Friday evening, Los Angeles Magazine sent NewsChannel 3-12 an email notifying our newsroom the articles were removed. 

The email was sent from a generic newsroom email reading, “This letter is to inform you of the removal of three articles from the Los Angeles Magazine website, www.lamag.com, which you have referenced and/or linked in your reporting. We request that you remove any and all links to the three LA Magazine articles referenced below.”

The other two articles were follow-ups to the original article. The first stated the Santa Barbara Police spokesman accused of corruption, Anthony Wagner, was placed on paid administrative leave. The second stated the third-party investigator found no conflict of interest.

In the original article, Kriegman accused Wagner of corruption during Santa Barbara's marijuana permitting selection process. And giving one of the three permits to a business that may have had a connection with Wagner, due to both being from San Diego.

As NewsChannel 3-12 reported, Wagner was one of seven members of a selection committee and SBPD hired a third-party investigation which concluded no conflict of interest was found.

NewsChannel 3-12 reported within days of the original article, Wagner demanded the article be removed citing inaccuracies. He later sued the magazine for $4.6 million dollars, which would have been his salary and benefits over the rest of his career in Santa Barbara.

NewsChannel 3-12 reached out to both Los Angeles Magazine and Wagner, Wagner said he has no comment at this time. And Los Angeles Magazine has yet to respond to NewsChannel 3-12's phone calls and emails.

Wagner did release a statement when the article first came out. He wrote in part, "The piece misstates and misrepresents my background, significant events in my life, and past professional interactions and personal relationships." And "Despite the fact that I personally provided him my direct phone number and email address -- the author did not reach out to me for comment prior to submission."

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories
Author Profile Photo

Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content