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Ridder must step down as publisher of Star Tribune

Star Tribune publisher Par Ridder was forced to step down from his position after judge’s ruling in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday. “Irreparable harm? was done by Ridder when he took the job at the Star Tribune and took with him a laptop from the Pioneer Press containing material confidential to the Press, Judge David C. Higgs wrote, according to WCCO news.

According to the Pioneer Press, also included in the judge’s ruling is that the data the Ridder took to the Star Tribune will be eventually destroyed, along with the Tribune will repay the legal fees accrued by the Pioneer Press, which have reached a level of approximately $5 million, according to Dean Singleton, President of the parent company of the Pioneer Press, MediaNews.

The ruling also blocked the hire of Jennifer Parratt, who was hired away from the Pioneer Press by Ridder. Higgs ruled that Parratt did violate her non-compete clause with the Pioneer Press, while Ridder did not. Parratt will not be allowed to work at the Star Tribune until April of 2008.

“Today’s ruling is clearly not what we expected,? said Chris Harte, chairman of the Star Tribune. “…we will of course abide by the court's decision as we evaluate our legal options."

Ben Taylor, spokesman at the Star Tribune, said that Ridder left at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.