A damning report into the Metropolitan police's relationship with the press has dragged the phone-hacking row back into the spotlight.
The Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) report found senior figures in the Met "appear to have been oblivious" to the perception of conflict of interest when they recruited a former editor at the News of the World as a PR consultant.
Neil Wallis, a former News of the World executive, was hired to provide "strategic communication advice and support" to the police service – a move the police watchdog branded an "imprudent decision".
The decision to hire the PR man meant professional boundaries "became blurred" the report said.
Scotland Yard's head of communications, Dick Fedorcio, who gave Mr Wallis the contract, resigned last month.
His decision to leave before misconduct proceedings could take place could be "hugely damaging to public confidence", the IPCC found.
Mr Fedorcio effectively employed Mr Wallis "prior to a written contract being prepared or signed".
The watchdog also criticised John Yates, former assistant commissioner, for forwarding the CV of Mr Wallis' daughter to the human resources department, who then felt they were "expected" to get her a job.
Mr Yates' decision showed "poor judgement", the IPCC concluded.