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Tribune Reporters Name Alleged Police Leaks

Tribune Reporters Name Alleged Police Leaks


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Karen Scullin Reporting...The scandal over leaked information in the Elizabeth Smart case took on a new dimension today. A Smart family lawyer wants police officers that leaked information to reporters held accountable.

Two fired Salt Lake Tribune reporters broke their agreements to keep their police sources confidential. The names they gave the Smart family are now in the hands of prosecutors.

During a two-hour interview with the Smart attorney, Salt Lake Tribune reporters Kevin Cantera and Michael Vigh apparently revealed all their police sources they used during the Smart case -- even those that were off the record. The revelations were part of a settlement in which the Smart's agreed not to sue Cantera and Vigh.

An article in the National Enquirer in July of last year that alleged homosexual activity among members of the Smart family has resulted in a firestorm of finger pointing. It started with Tribune reporters Cantera and Vigh who sold the information to the Enquirer -- and now the two reporters have apparently revealed their sources. In return the Smart's agreed not to sue them.

Randy Dryer/Smart Family Attorney: "THE LEAKING OF INFORMATION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS WAS NOT LIMITED TO A FEW ISOLATED INSTANCES OR A FEW ISOLATED INDIVIDUALS. THE LEAKS WERE PERVASIVE ONGOING AND INVOLVED MULTIPLE LAW ENDORCEMENT AGENCIES."

The agencies identified are the Salt Lake City Police Dept., the F.B.I., the Utah Department of Public Safety, and the Secret Service. Cantera and Vigh reportedly told Dryer--the officers who gave them the information revealed it to advance a certain theory some officers reportedly had regarding the kidnapping.

Randy Dryer/Smart Family Attorney: "AS A RESULT OF THEIR CONVERSATIONS WITH POLICE SOURCES, THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT IT WAS A FAMILY MEMBER WHO KIDNAPPED ELIZABETH, AS A RESULT THE INFORMATION TEHY WERE BEING PROVIDED WAS CONSISTENT WITH THAT POLICE THEORY."

Dryer said he could not verify if all of what Cantera and Vigh told him was true, although he had no reason to doubt the two. Cantera did apparently admit he embellished and fabricated at least a portion of what ended up in the Enquirer.

Randy Dryer/Smart Family Attorney: "THE JOURNAL THAT SUPPOSEDLY RECORDED THE GAY LIFESTYLE OF THE FAMILY AND THEIR PREFERENCE FOR SADOMASICHISM ETC., I WANT TO BE CLEAR HERE, THE JOURNAL WAS AN EMBELLISHMENT BY MR. CANTERA."

When asked what the Smart family wants out of all of this, Randy Dryer said they want to prevent further leaks as the kidnapping case heads to trial, and to prevent it from ever happening again.

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