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Judge blocks ex-Pioneer Press executive from starting Star Tribune

A Ramsey County judge on Friday blocked a former St. Paul Pioneer Press executive from starting her new job at the Star Tribune, saying it's clear the new job would violate a non-compete agreement.

Judge David C. Higgs granted a Pioneer Press request for a temporary restraining order to keep Jennifer Parratt from becoming director of niche publications at the Star Tribune.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by the Pioneer Press over former publisher Par Ridder, who defected to become the Star Tribune's publisher and CEO last month. The Pioneer Press lawsuit alleges that Ridder broke a non-compete agreement and that he handed over sensitive data about finances, advertising, and circulation.

The restraining order granted Friday required the judge to decide which side was more likely to be right about Parratt's non-compete agreement. The Star Tribune will get a chance to argue against it at an injunction hearing scheduled for June 18.