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L.A. County prosecutor resigns after discussing Michael Jackson case on 'Larry King Live'

July 15, 2009 | 12:10 pm

A veteran prosecutor resigned from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office this week after her supervisors learned that she had discussed the Michael Jackson case while appearing last week as a panelist on CNN's "Larry King Live."

Robin Sax Katzenstein, who was on leave from the district attorney's sex crimes division, appeared as a legal analyst on King's Friday broadcast and said there would be problems bringing a potential criminal case.

"Well, I think there are difficulties in this case. You have a causation here. First of all, there are so many doctors in Michael Jackson's life, so many different people," Katzenstein said. "Who do you blame? Which doctor, which prescription, which drug was the lethal drug? Was it the combination of the drugs? Was it the reaction of different types of drugs?"

Asked what a criminal case would potentially look like, Katzenstein said "this would be an involuntary manslaughter type of case. And that's what [Police Chief William] Bratton would be looking at."

Rules prohibit prosecutors from discussing cases that could come before the district attorney, and the probe into Jackson's death, while not yet a criminal investigation, could potentially become one that would be handled by the office.

Katzenstein said in a phone interview that it was wrong to discuss the case, but she believed the investigation was being spearheaded by federal and state authorities, allowing her to voice her opinion.

"The concern of the district attorney's office is that whenever I speak I’m speaking on behalf of the district attorney's office," Katzenstein said. "Should I have known better, probably. I shouldn't have said anything. They told me they weren't happy."

Katzenstein, who has appeared as a legal analyst on radio and cable news talk shows, including Larry King's and Nancy Grace's programs, said she made the choice to resign because it was time to transition to a media career. She also had been on leave the last four months promoting her book, "Predators & Child Molesters: What Every Parent Needs to Know to Keep Kids Safe.”

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said they would not comment on a personnel matter.

"It's a good decision,"  Katzenstein said. "I wanted to go and it was time and I am leaving on good terms."

-- Andrew Blankstein