Two weeks before, police investigators showed up at his home to ask him, politely he says, to identify the source who provided him with a confidential police report about the February death of the city’s public defender, Jeff Adachi. Carmody, who said he worked with three local television news stations on the story, declined.

He wasn’t about to give up his source on Friday either, despite the escalation — not to the police or two FBI agents in suits who questioned him about the case, he said.

“I’m smart enough not to talk to federal agents, ever,” Carmody said. “I just kept saying ‘lawyer, lawyer, lawyer.’ ”

So he stayed handcuffed for the next six hours, he says — a certificate of release from the police department that he distributed says he was in custody from 8:22 a.m. until 1:55 p.m. — as investigators searched his home, then his office, where they found the report in a safe. A search warrant filed in the case notes that it was issued as police investigated “stolen or embezzled property.”