The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a criminal investigation of an officer accused of using law enforcement computers to secretly investigate celebrities, the Los Angeles Times says. The department had been focusing on charges of administrative misconduct that could result in the suspension or firing of Officer Kelly Chrisman. Among celebrities whose files Chrisman allegedly accessed were Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox Arquette, Sean Penn, Halle Berry, Meg Ryan, Kobe Bryant, O.J. Simpson, Drew Barrymore, Elle Macpherson and Berry Gordy.
After the newspaper disclosed information “that was not contained in our file,” law enforcement officials shifted to potential felony charges against Chrisman, including selling confidential police data, conspiracy and taking bribes, said Richard Doyle of the district attorney’s justice integrity unit. Chrisman denies wrongdoing.
Doyle said the possibility of bringing criminal charges against tabloid employees who may have solicited or paid for restricted data has not been ruled out. Kelli L. Sager, an attorney for several tabloids owned by Florida-based American Media Inc., said “I have a hard time seeing any criminal conduct in receiving information, even if the person giving it wasn’t supposed to give it to you.”