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Chris Dorner manhunt slowed by Hollywood exec?

July 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities are investigating whether a Hollywood executive slowed down the manhunt for accused cop killer Christopher Dorner by using the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helipad during the search.

Ryan Kavanaugh is the 38-year-old founder of Relativity Media worth more than a billion dollars. He produced the films "The Social Network," "Immortals," "The Fighter," and "Limitless."

Kavanaugh's seemingly limitless success allowed him to buy several helicopters for his commute. During February's massive manhunt for Dorner, Kavanaugh landed his helicopter at the sheriff's department headquarters in Monterey Park. Investigators are looking into whether doing so impeded the search.

"There is a criminal investigation regarding Mr. Kavanaugh's use of a helicopter," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesperson for the department.

Whitmore says he can't comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation. Kavanaugh's spokesman says this is really motivated by politics. Kavanaugh recently endorsed Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is considering running against Sheriff Lee Baca for the top job.

"This is another sad and desperate attempt to distract the people of Los Angeles County...It's disappointing that the sheriff continues to waste taxpayer resources to pursue his own politically-motivated vendetta," said David Shane, Kavanaugh's spokesman.

Shane went on to say that Kavanaugh is an active volunteer with the sheriff's Aero Squadron and was given approval by Tanaka to land his helicopter at the sheriff's headquarters that day.

Tanaka told Eyewitness News this is one of many acts of retribution taken by Baca against a series of potential Tanaka supporters.

"My response is categorically absurd. It's absolutely not true," said Whitmore. "This is an election season. There's going to be things that are bantered about, and people are going to make claims. People are even going to go public with allegations. The important thing to remember is Sheriff Baca is a steady hand at the wheel."

Whitmore insists Baca didn't ask for and didn't even know about the Kavanaugh criminal investigation at first.

Kavanaugh's spokesman questions that. He says the district attorney already looked at this case and decided not to press charges.


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