Sheriffs Get TMZ Exclusive: Harvey Levin's Phone Records

"It's disgusting they would do something like this," Levin said.

By Scott Weber
|  Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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Sheriffs Get TMZ Exclusive: Harvey Levin's Phone Records

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department may have got the scoop on TMZ's Harvey Levin. And he's not happy.

The LA Times earlier this month revealed that the Sheriff's Department had obtained Levin's telephone records as part of an investigation into the leak of information about Mel Gibson's 2006 drunk-driving arrest and subsequent anti-Semitic laced tirade.

Levin expressed his outrage during a meeting at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

"It breaks federal law, it breaks state law," Levin was quoted in the Times. "This is like 'Chinatown.' It's disgusting they would do something like this. How do you protect sources? It goes to the core of freedom of the press."

Several Journalism groups and legal experts agree.

Lucy Dalglish, and attorney and executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told the Times, "Most law enforcement agencies know it's illegal…or have a hard time getting a judge signing off on it."

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Times his department consulted a prosecutor before seeking the search warrant and said a judge aprroved it.

"We've met with lawyers and are charting our course of action," Levin said. "This is not going to go away."


 

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