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Arnold In Grope Row With Calif. AG

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, left, and California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger.
AP
Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger will hire a private investigator to look into allegations that he groped women, but he may keep the results from the state attorney general, a spokesman said.

Schwarzenegger's reluctance to turn over the results of the investigation stem from remarks Attorney General Bill Lockyer made earlier Thursday. The Democrat said he advised Schwarzenegger that the misconduct allegations "are not going to go away" and he should cooperate with an independent investigation.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said those statements violated attorney-client privilege and have forced Schwarzenegger to reconsider whether he would provide any information to Lockyer.

"In regard to a review of allegations that surfaced late in the campaign, the governor-elect had already decided to engage a well-respected investigative firm to look into the allegations," Stutzman said. "He had intended to instruct the investigators to turn over the final results of that investigation to the attorney general; he will now reconsider that option."

Five days before the October election in California, the Los Angeles Times detailed allegations from six women who said Schwarzenegger groped or sexually harassed them between 1975 and 2000. By the Oct. 7 election, the number had grown to 16.

In most cases, the women identified in the Los Angeles Times story said they did not tell law enforcement officials about the incidents because it involved their word as waitresses and low-level workers on movie sets against that of an internationally known celebrity.

Lockyer said he spoke with Schwarzenegger as recently as Wednesday about the accusations that surfaced during the final days of his gubernatorial campaign.

The allegations won't go away "until he is willing to have some form of independent, third-party review of those complaints to see if there's any criminal liability or not," Lockyer said.

Stutzman said Schwarzenegger was "extremely disappointed" in Lockyer's remarks.

"There was disappointment here on this end, that the attorney general would present himself to the governor-elect as his lawyer, engage him in discussion on this matter and make those dissuasions public," Stutzman said.

Lockyer said Schwarzenegger is "very concerned, I think," but "obviously thinks there's not a legitimate basis for a complaint" and believes that any review would clear him.

But until the allegations are resolved, they are a "stain" on the incoming governor's reputation and his administration, Lockyer said.