Tabloid Hacker Worked for Scotland Yard

Tabloid's former editor paid $1,500 a day as 'consultant'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 15, 2011 3:40 AM CDT
Metropolitan Police deputy Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, listens during a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority at the City Hall in London, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. Mayor Boris Johnson ordered...   (AP Photo / Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – The creepily cozy relationship between some Brit cops and News of the World reporters is emerging with word that Scotland Yard paid a suspected phone hacker $1,500 a day in consultant fees. "This stinks to high heaven," said one aghast politician. Neil Wallis, former executive editor of the disgraced and shuttered tabloid who was arrested yesterday, worked for the force for 11 months. Now, not only he but Scotland Yard Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson have some explaining to do before government investigators, with Stephenson already facing calls for his resignation, reports the Telegraph. It was Sir Paul who earlier this week briefed Prime Minister David Cameron on the growing scandal. But he conveniently forgot to mention that one of the key suspected culprits had worked for him, sources tell the Daily Mail.

Wallis, who dined several times with Stephenson during his time as editor, landed the Yard consultant work in 2009, shortly after leaving the tabloid. He earned some $36,000 for working two days a month providing "strategic communication advice and support," according to sources. The tabloid scandal, involving illegally hacked phones of as many as 4,000 British citizens, is threatening not only to topple owner Rupert Murdoch's massive media empire, but is also damaging the reputation of politicians like Cameron supported by the conservative publisher and his minions. Now, it appears that police, who may have taken payments for providing information to reporters, are about to be sucked into the rapidly growing black hole. Stephenson has insisted his integrity is "completely intact." (Read more Sir Paul Stephenson stories.)

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