LA ethics panel rejects proposed $11,250 fine for Leslie Moonves as too low

FILE - Then-CBS President Leslie Moonves attends the CBS Network 2015 Programming Upfront at The Tent at Lincoln Center on May 13, 2015 in New York.  Moonves has agreed to pay an $11,250 fine to settle a complaint that he interfered with a police investigation into a sexual assault case, the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission says.  (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

LA ethics panel rejects proposed $11,250 fine for Leslie Moonves as too low

LA Politics, Homepage News

Dakota Smith
Mega James

February 21, 2024

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on Wednesday unanimously rejected a proposed settlement between the city and the city

former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves

,

saying that a harsher punishment was justified for the executive,

who was accused of interfering with a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations against him.

Moonves had agreed to pay an $11,250 fine to settle a City Ethics Commission complaint accusing him of inducing a public official to break laws so that Moonves would have a tactical advantage in a police complaint against him .

Ethics Commission staff worked with Moonves on the proposed fine, but it still needed approval from the volunteer panel that oversees the department.

Jeffrey Daar, chairman of the Ethics Committee, acknowledged it was “somewhat unusual” for the panel

reject

a proposed fine.

The commissioners believed that the extremely egregious nature of the charges warranted a harsher sentence, Daar said.

Each count carries a maximum fine of $5,000, or $15,000 for the three counts.

A Moonves representative declined to comment on Wednesday’s action.

The case dates back to November 2017, when the former Los Angeles Police Chief. Cory Palka began working with Moonves and other CBS executives to allegedly bury an LAPD complaint filed by a woman who had accused Moonves of sexual assault in the 1980s.

Palka, who has since retired, was then chief of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Bureau. He had known Moonves for almost ten years because he was part of Moonves’ security for the

grammy

Prices for several years.

Moonve’s career as head of CBS collapsed amid a widening sex scandal that came to light as part of the #MeToo movement. Moonves, who left CBS in September 2018, has denied harassing or assaulting women.

The ethics complaint detailed how a former colleague, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, was inspired on November 10, 2017, to speak out about her allegations of past dealings with the then-powerful TV executive.

She drove to the Hollywood station to report Moonves. Later that evening, Palka called CBS officials and alerted them to the existence of Golden-Gottlieb’s report.

In the following weeks, Palka, Moonves and one of Moonves’ subordinates discussed strategies to thwart Golden-Gottlieb’s report and tried to ensure it did not gain traction within the police department or the LA County district attorney’s office, according to data in the case. which came to light in late 2022 as part of a report by New York Atty. Gene.

Letitia

James.

James had accused Moonves and CBS of misleading investors about the extent of the sexual harassment uncovered at CBS that was damaging the company’s stock.

The former CBS chief was charged with three violations of the city’s Ethics Ordinance, which governs the conduct of city employees and prohibits them from misusing or disclosing confidential information obtained through their work.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Moonves had agreed to pay a settlement of $11,250 and acknowledged that he violated city laws by promoting the disclosure and misuse of confidential information.

He also admitted that he “induced a city official to abuse his position in an attempt to create a private benefit for Moonves.”

The ethics complaint had also accused Moonves of violating the city ordinance by inducing Palka to create for Moonves the private benefits of access to confidential information from an LAPD investigation.

The ethics committee on Wednesday also rejected a proposed $2,500 settlement with Ian Metrose, the former senior vice president of talent relations and special events at CBS. Metrorose admitted that he violated city law by promoting the disclosure and misuse of confidential information.

Daar said the cases remain with the Ethics Commission’s enforcement division.

The City Charter sets maximum fines, but the fines have not been updated in decades. The Ethics Commission is trying to increase the penalties, Daar said.

Five thousand dollars doesn’t make sense today, especially when you have very egregious allegations, Daar said.

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