Former CBS CEO fined $11,250 for reportedly obstructing California police inquiry

Former CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves allegedly attempted to influence a former LAPD captain, who had expressed loyalty to Moonves and was leaking confidential information about a criminal investigation involving Moonves accused of sexually assaulting a former employee. This information comes from new legal documents released by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on Friday.

Moonves agreed on Feb. 5 to pay an $11,250 fine for violating the city’s ethics code by persuading a city official to misuse his position to benefit Moonves personally.

Corey Palka, the former LAPD captain, was identified in the ethics investigation as the individual who, while serving as commanding officer of the Hollywood Division in 2017, shared information with Moonves about the LAPD investigation and the former employee’s accusation.

According to the Ethics Commission’s findings, Palka and Moonves met in person on November 25, 2017, at a restaurant in Westlake Village, where Palka disclosed confidential information about the LAPD investigation. This meeting was not part of the official LAPD investigation.

Moonves then texted Palka in December to discuss the case further, according to the commission’s findings.

An attorney for Moonves in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



In a prior conversation, Palka, who has since retired from the LAPD, informed NBC4’s I-Team that he was unaware of any allegations suggesting he had disclosed confidential information regarding the Moonves case to CBS executives or Moonves. These allegations were initially disclosed in an insider trading settlement between Moonves and the New York Attorney General’s Office.

The woman who made the accusation, Phyllis Gottlieb, stated during a 2022 press conference that Moonves had assaulted her while she was working for him at an entertainment firm in 1986. When Gottlieb reported the incident to the LAPD in 2017, it was well beyond the statute of limitations, and LAPD officials stated that no criminal charges could have been filed even if there had been enough evidence to proceed with an investigation.

Moonves has denied the accusation. Gottlieb and her attorney, Gloria Allred, declined to comment on the Ethics Commission’s finding.

In November 2022, the LAPD announced an internal investigation into the allegation that Palka had leaked information to Moonves and whether other LAPD officers were involved.

Police Commissioner William Briggs expressed outrage at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting, calling the situation an example of “old-time cronyism” and corruption.

Moonves and Palka were acquainted because Palka had served as Moonves’ security guard at the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014, according to the Ethics finding.

The New York Attorney General’s Office stated in 2022 that the effort to interfere with the LAPD investigation constituted a violation of the state’s insider trading laws, as Moonves allegedly benefited by concealing negative information from investors and the public. Moonves agreed to pay a $30.5 million fine.

Moonves resigned from CBS in 2018 after at least 12 women accused him of sexual assault. He has denied these allegations. According to the Ethics finding, Palka sent a message to Moonves after his resignation, saying, “I’m deeply sorry this happened. I will always stand with, by, and pledge my allegiance to you.”

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