Les Moonves’ Settlement With L.A. Rejected by Ethics Commission – The Hollywood Reporter

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has unanimously voted to reject the proposed settlement by the city with Les Moonves, the former president and CEO of CBS.

The settlement, made public last week, stated that Moonves tried to influence now-retired LAPD Captain Cory Palka amid a sexual assault investigation against the executive. The legal documents noted that Moonves agreed to pay an $11,250 fine on Feb. 5 for violating the city’s ethics code.

Moonves “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 settlement read, which is why they recommend “settling this case by approving the stipulated order.”

However, the Ethics Commission, including all four commissioners, voted down the proposed settlement, 4-0. It’s not immediately clear how the case will proceed.

During the same meeting on Wednesday, the Ethics Commission unanimously voted down a proposed $2,500 fine for former CBS senior vice president of talent relations and special events Ian Metrose, who the settlement stated “admits that he violated City law by aiding and abetting the disclosure and
misuse of confidential information.” According to the settlement, Palka first made contact with Metrose to discuss the claims against Moonves, and Metrose acted as a go-between on the matter for the LAPD captain and his then-boss Moonves.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the L.A. Ethics Commission.

The settlement found that Palka — who was the commanding officer of the Hollywood Division in 2017 — personally gave Moonves confidential information about the sexual assault probe after a former employee filed a report against him in late 2017. According to the legal documents, Moonves and Palka communicated (often via Metrose) over the phone and text messaging and met at an in-person meeting.

These allegations of interference first came to light in a bombshell 2022 New York Attorney General’s settlement with Paramount Global and Moonves. The $30.5 million settlement was announced alongside results of an investigation which found not only that Moonves had been tipped off to the LAPD investigation by Palka, but also that former CBS communications chief Gil Schwartz allegedly sold millions of dollars worth of stock before the sexual assault claims went public.

Moonves, who resigned from CBS in 2018 following sexual assault allegations from multiple women, has denied all allegations against him. Metrose exited CBS in March 2023, a few months after the New York Attorney General’s report went public.

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