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Investigation Into Allegations Connected To Santa Barbara Cannabis Permit Shows No Wrongdoing Involved

Independent investigation clears city employee

An independent investigation concluded that a City of Santa Barbara employee didn’t have a conflict of interest in the awarding of a cannabis store permit by the city.

A Los Angeles Magazine article alleged Anthony Wagner had a conflict. Wagner is the City’s Public Engagement Officer, a Public Information Officer, and was charged with overseeing the Police Department’s permit process.

Because of the article’s allegation, the city hired an outside firm, the Sintra Group, to do an impartial review. It found that Wagner didn’t have a conflict of interest as alleged with Golden State Greens.

The investigators noted the company wasn’t even one of the three finalists to receive a permit. Golden State received a permit by default when one of the top finishers was disqualified because its location was too close to a higher ranking applicant.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.