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Arresting Cop in Gibson Case Attacked By Sheriff

12/5/2006 12:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The Deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for D.U.I. is under attack -- by his own department.
James Mee and Mel Gibson
L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy James Mee "was forced into an Internal Affairs investigation within 72 hours of the arrest of Mr. Gibson," according to a letter sent to the Sheriff's Department by Deputy Mee's lawyer and obtained by TMZ. In the letter, dated October 17, attorney Richard Shinee says that the interrogation lasted five hours and Mee "was compelled to give a statement regarding all aspects of the transaction between himself and Mr. Gibson, including questions with regard to the alleged leak of information to the press."

TMZ broke the story on July 28, the day of the arrest, that Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade. Sheriff's officials told TMZ and other media that the arrest had occurred "without incident," that is, until TMZ published four pages from the original arrest report which included a blow-by-blow account of Gibson's conduct. We also first reported that Deputy Mee was ordered by his superiors to sanitize the report, removing the four pages of incendiary information.

According to Shinee's letter, after Mee's interview, the deputy was immediately made the subject of a criminal investigation. As we have already reported, the Sheriff's Department searched Mee's residence to determine if there was evidence that he was the TMZ leak.

In his letter, Shinee says Deputy Mee "told the investigators that he was ordered to change his report, and further, that he did so against his will." Shinee also says, contrary to Sheriff Lee Baca's claim that he did not ask to have the initial arrest report sanitized, Mee's statements to Internal Affairs and his immediate supervisors "wholly contradict these assertions."

Shinee claims there's a conflict of interest with the Department investigating his client, claiming it "creates far too great of a temptation to discredit Deputy Mee by manipulation of the evidence." Shinee adds, "To date, my investigation reveals that that has already been set in motion."

Shinee is incredulous that the Department has put a review of its own conduct in the investigation on hold, pending the criminal investigation into the leak. Shinee writes, "This, on its face, is ridiculous and further underscores our concerns that Deputy Mee will be scapegoated."

TMZ has also obtained a letter from Shinee to the State Attorney General, dated November 13, asking him to take over the Sheriff's investigation "to ensure that the investigation is conducted lawfully and objectively." We're told the Attorney General has rejected Shinee's request.

Finally, TMZ has learned that Mee has been taken off patrol duty in Malibu and reassigned. We're also told that the Sheriff's Dept. has recently targeted Mee in a separate investigation, allegedly for getting into an argument with a superior. TMZ contacted Shinee, who claims the new investigation "is nothing more than ongoing harassment."

Sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore told TMZ "The Sheriff's Department has handled scores of investigations in an unbiased, fair manner. This investigation is no different." Whitmore adds his Department is conducting "a thorough and robust investigation" and it will "continue to move forward in a professional, measured manner, regardless of the publicity surrounding it."

48 COMMENTS

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1.

tk    

This whole incident has gotten completely out of hand.........gibson was arrested for speeding and being under the influence.....NOT for his tirade to the officer. I'm sure thousands of drunks arrested for driving under the influence have said MUCH WORSE things to the arresting officers..........GET OVER IT PEOPLE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH......WHO CARES ANYMORE....GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES.

2824 days ago
2.

Carla    

The arresting officers report never should of been leaked. PERIOD!!!
By doing so he has shown himself to be a second rate officer and
obviously looking for his 3 seconds of spot light.

2824 days ago
3.

Marcia    

I agree with you TK....they all need to get a life instead of trying to milk a grandma's tit that has not produced in 50 years.
This officer is a dead beat.

2824 days ago
4.

Taylor    

So, umm, who cares?

I enjoy reading TMZ, so when the site gets information I read it and either care enough to comment or don't. I really don't care how the site gets it. But from the sheriff department's pov arent' they right to try to keep classified information CLASSIFIED? How are they wrong to investigate? And how is it wrong for whoever leaked the info to be punished? TMZ is trying to make something out of nothing. Must be a slow day.

2824 days ago
5.

Glee (I'm baaaaack)    

sorry tk if mel expects us to spend money on his flims we have the right to know information that reflects on his character and the slant of the films he makes

i hope the officer writes a tell all book and makes some money off of it, now that the kiss ass sheriffs dept is trying to ruin his career.

the sherrifs dept is spending more time and energy on mee than they did on gibson. its reprehensible.

2824 days ago
6.

disgusted    

P L E A S E, TMZ MOVE ON!

2824 days ago
7.

Esq    

Good job TMZ, and good job Deputy Mee. TMZ, please stay on this to make sure this officer does not become a scapegoat for putting the truth out there.

2824 days ago
8.

Ms. B    

This really doesn't have anything to do with Mel Gibson

The police should not sanitize any arrest information. What if you were arrested, or a loved, and they changed the facts to protect themselves, or a person that harned you.

The cop released the information for personal and monetary gain. He was wrong and should be punished. Again, if this were you or someone you know, you wouldn't like it. All of your business is in the open for everyone to judge.

If he was concerned about info being sanitized he should have to the same people investigating him now.

2824 days ago
9.

Claire    

Why should this officer have to censor his report? To protect a jerk?

I think this story should be talked about, corruption on any level is WRONG..

2824 days ago
10.

Dee Dee Dee    

So Harvey, was officer Mee your "tipster" or not? It sounds like he was, and that you will be dragged into an investigation and forced to answer to some serious questions. There shouldn't be "leaks" like this to the press, it is not in the interest of justice at all.

2824 days ago
11.

PDX    

Poor guy. The deputy, that is. Looks like Mel's power has come into play once again.

I applaud whoever leaked the truth about the incident out to the public! We deserve to know where our movie money is going. Just as people deserved to know what Mr. Richards said, we also deserved to know about this.

2824 days ago
12.

Waaah!    

If the sheriff's office is doing something wrong, then Mee was right to leak the info. Mel should not get preferential treatment because of his celebrity, nor should he be continually run through the mud for what happened. He's apologized. Get over it.

2824 days ago
13.

Cary    

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

2824 days ago
14.

Lisa    

Why is TMZ doing a good job #4? TMZ obtained confidential information? What if it was you, would you feel the same way if a person leaked information to the media about your behavior? Someone at the sheriffs’ department broke the law and they should be punished regardless of what Mel did. Two wrongs don’t make a right. TMZ bashing Mel is beyond getting old. Take your personal feeling and deal with them and leave that man alone.

ADMF

2824 days ago
15.

miz    

I think if he is the leak he should be puished accordingly. Rules are rules. By the same token, I thought all of Gibson's behavior was caught on tape, so if there is proof to back up the behavior, then the officer being told to sanitize the report is really wrong, too. Or maybe, Gibson was right when he said he "owned Malibu" or was "the king of Malibu" or something like that.

2824 days ago
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