Michael Jackson's death certificate was improperly viewed by at least a half-dozen employees at the Los Angeles County coroner's office who had no role in investigating the cause of his death, a coroner's official said Wednesday.
In some instances, the staff members appeared to have printed copies before the document became a public record, Chief Investigator Craig Harvey told the Los Angeles Times.
"There's only one person in the investigation of Mr. Jackson who needed to have a copy of the death certificate, and that was the investigator," Harvey said.
Improper views of the certificate, which is stored in a state-supervised computer system, is a violation of internal rules, not any laws, he said. A coroner's captain issued an e-mail warning to the staff that future abuses of the system could result in disciplinary action.
Harvey also revealed that within two weeks of the entertainer's June 25 death, the certificate had been viewed more than 300 times. The electronic death registration system can be accessed by anyone with a state-issued password, including employees at coroner's offices, funeral homes, hospitals and county and state registrar's offices.