L.A. County coroner's office cleared in sheriff's inquiry into Michael Jackson leaks

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L.A. County coroner's office cleared in sheriff's inquiry into Michael Jackson leaks

Post by nlb on Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:23 am

L.A. County coroner's office cleared in sheriff's inquiry into Michael Jackson leaks

'We didn't find any criminal wrongdoing,' a sheriff's spokesman says. But a county supervisor says the sheriff's review was 'very limited' and is awaiting the results of a separate county audit.


Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators have concluded a nearly
two-month inquiry into whether county coroner's employees illegally leaked or sold private information from Michael Jackson's death investigation, a sheriff's spokesman announced Friday.

After interviewing coroner's staff and consulting with the district
attorney's office, investigators from the sheriff's internal criminal
investigations bureau determined that no criminal violations occurred, according to sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

"We didn't find any criminal wrongdoing," Whitmore said.

Results of the inquiry were presented to county supervisors and the county's chief executive Thursday, Whitmore said.

Whitmore said investigators "did their due diligence" and found no evidence that coroner's employees illegally accessed or sold information from the Jackson case, although they may have violated department policies.

Supervisors called for the inquiry July 25, after The Times reported that the pop star's death certificate had been viewed more than 300 times, including by half a dozen coroner's employees not involved in the investigation.

On Friday, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas called the sheriff's review "very limited" and said that he is awaiting results of a county audit of the coroner that is underway.

"That should be the more telling report because it will be more thorough," Ridley-Thomas said, adding that sheriff's investigators could revisit the matter "if something else surfaces."

Craig Harvey, the chief coroner's investigator, previously said employees who inappropriately viewed Jackson's records were given a warning -- the proper discipline, according to county civil services rules -- and that no further investigation was needed.



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