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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Michael's Death Certificate...

In the days before Michael Jackson’s death certificate was made public, only a few people had legitimate reason to view the file in the state's password-protected database.

Even after the document was released, access was supposed to be limited to authorized staffers.But by the first week in July, the pop star's records had been viewed more than 300 times, said Craig Harvey, the chief coroner's investigator.

On Friday, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials launched an investigation into whether coroner's employees leaked or sold confidential information related to Jackson's case after The Times reported that at least half a dozen employees had improperly viewed his death certificate online.

Los Angeles County supervisors, who asked the sheriff to investigate, are also calling for the county auditor, who had already launched an unrelated audit of the coroner's office, to specifically examine possible leaks.

"We need to get that environment under control," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.

With the final autopsy results still pending for Jackson, who died June 25, the high media attention surrounding the case has raised a new round of questions about safeguarding celebrities' electronic records.

Even before reports surfaced of unauthorized views of Jackson's death certificate supervisors had expressed concern about possible leaks at the coroner's office after seeing detailed reports about the Jackson case in tabloids.

In addition to a criminal inquiry, state health officials who oversee the Electronic Death Registration System said they were looking into whether coroner's employees should be sanctioned.

"We have not decided what sorts of actions might be taken," said Ken August, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health.

Damn, just leave him alone!

What do you think?

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