Los Angeles Ethics Commission Rejects $11K Les Moonves Fine

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Voting members of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission have unanimously rejected the paltry $11,250 that leaders of the commission agreed to fine ex-CBS CEO Les Moonves for his role in the LAPD corruption scandal related to his own accusations of sexual misconduct.

Made public last week but actually handed out on Feb. 5, the $11,250 fine against Moonves was not determined by the commission itself. It was part of a settlement agreement approved by executive director David Tristan and deputy director Heather Holt, the commission’s two top staffers, and by director of enforcement Kenneth Hardy.

The commission also rejected the proposed $2500 fine against ex-CBS executive Ian Metrose.

“The rejection of the proposed settlements was based on the egregiousness of the alleged facts. The Ethics Commission is committed to enforcing the City’s laws. These two cases underscore the need for the City Council to place a measure before the voters to strengthen the Ethics Commission’s independence as well as increase the maximum monetary penalties for violations of City ethics laws, which have not been changed in more than 30 years,” commission President Jeffery Daar said in a statement Wednesday night.

The original fine was supposed to bring to a close the investigation into Moonves’ relationship with Cory Palka, the now-retired LAPD officer who worked to keep accusations of sexual assault against Moonves from becoming public. Commission staff will be evaluating the case to determine next steps, including whether a new settlement could be proposed, with any announcements to come at a later date.

Representatives for the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission declined to comment on the matter.

Palka met Moonves when he moonlighted as a security consultant at the Grammy Awards between 2008-2014. According to an LAPD investigation, they remained close associates and in 2017, Palka secretly warned Moonves and other CBS executives of the department’s investigation into accusations that Moonves had sexually assaulted a woman in the 1980s.

The investigation determined that communications between Palka and Moonves’ camp were concealed using encrypted text apps and code words, and that Palka even shared confidential details about the accuser with them. Among other things, at least one CBS executive was able to sell millions in company stock before the investigation became public.

Moonves was ousted from CBS in 2018. Four years later, he and Paramount jointly paid $30.5 million, most of which went to CBS shareholders, to settle a state of New York investigation into insider trading and sexual misconduct.

Deadline first reported on the Commission’s decision.

The post Los Angeles Ethics Commission Rejects $11K Les Moonves Fine appeared first on TheWrap.