Les Moonves Fined $15K for Using LAPD to Bury Sexual Assault Accusations

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission rejected a proposed $11k fine in February

Les Moonves
Les Moonves (Getty Images)

Former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves was fined $15,000 on Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission for his role in attempts to keep an LAPD investigation of sexual assault accusations against him from becoming public in 2017. He has paid the amount in full.

A previous proposal for an $11,000 fine was rejected by the commission Feb. 21. While small relative to the acts committed, $15,000 is the maximum amount the commission was able to levy against the former CBS executive.

“The members of the Ethics Commission approved the stipulation and order Leslie Moonves to pay a fine of $15,000 to the City of Los Angeles in accordance with the terms of the stipulation,” said the order, which you can read here.

Mooves “admits that he violated City law by aiding and abetting the disclosure and misuse of confidential information and by inducing a City official to misuse his position to attempt to create a private advantage for Moonves.”

The city official in question is former LAPD captain Cory Palka, who tipped off Moonves and other CBS executives that authorities were investigating him for sexual assaults against former Lorimar-Telepictures executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb in the 1980s. Palka shared the confidential police report Golden-Gottlieb made in 2017 with Moonves.

“We’re sending a message to the public that even if an individual is not an official, a non-city official, that aids, abets or induces a city official to violate city ethics law can themselves be held liable,” Kenneth Hardy, Director of Enforcement for the commission said Wednesday.

A woman who spoke at the meeting dismissed the fine as “pocket change to these guys,” and urged the commission to make it clear that sharing internal LAPD information more “will not be tolerated.” Another said the Ethics Commission should raise the maximum $5000 fine for the “incredibly wealthy” Moonves, Deadline reported. The commission did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Palka, who is retired, is still under investigation by the LAPD for his conduct.

Moonves stepped down from CBS in September 2018, the same day that New Yorker published accusations of six women accusing him of sexual harassment or assault.

Deadline first reported news of the settlement.


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