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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Coroner's office cleared in Jackson case

September 12, 2009|Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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.

Investigators from the sheriff's Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau determined that no criminal violations occurred, according to sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

County 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.

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.

Craig Harvey, the chief coroner's investigator, had 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.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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