The LAPD said Wednesday that it was opening an internal investigation into a retired police commander who allegedly briefed Leslie Moonves, then CEO of CBS Corp., about a November 2017 sexual assault investigation and swore his “loyalty” to Moonves He worked to keep the allegation out of the press.
LAPD identified the retired commander Wednesday night as Cory Palka, who left the department in February 2021 after 34 years of service.
Palka’s behavior was brought to light Wednesday as part of the New York Attorney General’s investigation into the company’s handling of the sexual misconduct allegations that eventually forced Moonves to fall in 2018.
According to a 37-page report, Palka shared the woman’s allegation with a CBS executive just hours after she filed the complaint. Palka later gave CBS executives a full copy of the confidential police report, including the woman’s personal identifying information, and took numerous steps to keep CBS abreast of the investigation’s progress.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore called the Palka’s behavior “appalling” in a statement Wednesday night and said an internal investigation had been launched into him and other LAPD members who may have been involved.
“Most appalling is the alleged breach of trust by a member of the LAPD in a sexual assault victim who is among the most vulnerable,” Moore said in the statement. “This undermines public trust and does not reflect our values as an organization.”
At the time of the Moonves investigation, Palka was a captain and commanding officer of the Hollywood Division, where the report was filed. According to the attorney general’s report, he had a prior relationship with CBS, having been hired as Moonves’ security advisor for the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014.
Senior CBS security officials were able to use the police report months before the allegations became public to sift through records about her and her family to determine what it would take to buy her silence, the report said.
Palka went so far as to meet Moonves in person at a Westlake Village restaurant to update him on the investigation and the accuser’s contacts with the police and prosecutors.
“During the meeting, Moonves said he wanted the LAPD investigation to be closed and discussed contacting other officials,” the report reads.
Palka was also in contact with Moonves’ lawyer. At one point in the investigation, he texted the attorney saying he would tell the investigating officer to “get in touch tomorrow and warn the accuser not to go to the media and to respect “her” confidentiality.”
He also assured CBS officials that he had taken steps to ensure the report did not leak to the press.
“The key is that NO other accusers come forward,” Palka wrote, according to the report.
On November 30, 2017 — 20 days after filing the report — Palka assured CBS officials that the case was “a definitive DENIAL,” meaning prosecutors would decline to press charges.
The prosecutor’s office eventually declined to prosecute because the alleged assault dated from the 1980s and fell outside the statute of limitations.
The woman, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, told her story to Ronan Farrow, who published a story about Moonves in The New Yorker on September 9, 2018. Moonves resigned later that day and was eventually officially terminated by the company after an investigation.
Palka sent a message to a CBS exec that day, saying, “So sorry to hear this news, Ian. sick me We worked so hard to avoid that day. I am so infinitely sad.”
Two days later he wrote directly to Moonves: “Les – I am deeply sorry that this has happened. I will always stand by you, be with you and swear my allegiance to you. You have embodied leadership, class and the highest character through it all.”
Palka appeared as himself in two episodes of the Amazon series Bosch, according to IMDb. In 2021, Michael Connelly, author of the “Bosch” books and executive producer of the series, will credited Palka for “opening many doors to our production”. Palka also received news coverage after taking a knee with protesters at demonstrations over the 2020 killing of George Floyd.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/lapd-captain-leslie-moonves-tip-investigation-1235421858/ LAPD investigates Captain accused of tipping off Leslie Moonves