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CBS faces probes by New York attorney general, district attorney

The inquiries relate to the work of two law firms hired by the board of directors to investigate sexual misconduct allegations.
Image: Les Moonves
Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, poses at the premiere of the new television series "Star Trek: Discovery" in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, 2017.Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

CBS has received subpoenas from the New York County District Attorney's office and the New York City Commission on Human Rights concerning allegations of sexual misconduct by former CEO Leslie Moonves and cultural problems companywide.

CBS revealed the inquiries Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, adding that the New York State Attorney General's office also requested information from ongoing company investigations.

The government inquiries relate to the work of two outside law firms that were hired in August by the CBS board to investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves, as well as claims of cultural problems at CBS News and other parts of the company. Moonves has denied any wrongdoing.

Moonves left CBS in early September.

"The Company may receive additional related regulatory and investigative inquiries from these and other entities in the future," it stated in the filing.

The law firms, Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling, are reviewing the Moonves claims, looking into the overall company culture and assessing allegations against CBS News executives.

They were hired after The New Yorker published several allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves, some of which were made anonymously.

CBS has not said when its investigation will conclude. The CBS board, now chaired by Dick Parsons, the former Time Warner chief executive officer, met on Friday to discuss several related issues, according to two sources close to the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The board must designate a lead contact for the law firms' work, given the departure of independent director Bruce Gordon, who stepped down from the board.

A spokesman for the law firms had no update on their progress.