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TMZ founder disgusted by sheriff's search of his phone records

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
The founder of the gossip network TMZ said this week he is outraged that Los Angeles authorities obtained his telephone…

The founder of the gossip network TMZ said this week he is outraged that Los Angeles authorities obtained his telephone records during an investigation into who leaked news of Mel Gibson’s 2006 arrest for drunken driving, LA Observed reported.

Harvey Levin told an audience at a Southern California Radio & Television News Association meeting that "it breaks federal law, it breaks state law. . . . I have reason now to believe they have done it again. . . . This is like ‘Chinatown.’ It is disgusting. . . . We have met with lawyers and we are charting our course of action."

TMZ was the first network to report Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade during a traffic stop and his subsequent arrest. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued two warrants — one for Levin’s phone records, another for the bank records of a sheriff’s deputy — to determine who leaked the information, which embarrassed the department. Both warrants were approved by a judge.