No Pardon For Par
Newspaper publisher Par Ridder stepped down from his job early Tuesday morning following a judge's ruling.
The decision comes almost three months after Ridder appeared in Ramsey County court in response to a lawsuit filed against him.
He had been accused by the St. Paul Pioneer Press of taking important documents and sharing them with his new employer, the Star Tribune.
These documents included budget information, company expenses, and ad rates.
Ridder was also accused of violating a non-compete agreement which prevented him from working with any rival newspapers for one year.
According to WCCO, Judge David C. Higgs said his ruling was necessary to prevent further damage to the Pioneer Press and to ensure that Ridder did not benefit from his past misconduct.
Ridder officially left the Star Tribune at 8:40 a.m. and will step down for one year.
Star Tribune chairman Chris Harte will be interim publisher.
The entire affair is unfortunate, considering the struggles of the newspaper market.
Competition is fierce, and Ridder made a gutsy move.
According to WCCO, Ridder testified that he never used the information he took from the Pioneer Press for competitive advantage.
Judge Higgs saw things differently and made a fair decision.
One year away from the job seems like a small price to pay.
Ridder should count his blessings and come back a better (ethical) man.