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Law enforcement enters Ridder case

MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton (right) says law enforcement agencies have begun their own probe of Tony Ridder’s son, Par Ridder (left), who is accused of stealing computer data when he quit as publisher of Singleton’s St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press to join the rival Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“I think it’s fair to say that authorities are involved,” Singleton told the Twin City’s alt-weekly City Pages, “but that’s not my job. My job is to get all of the stolen data back, to make sure it doesn’t get used, and to make sure the Star Tribune honors the agreements of the people who work for us. Whether there are things to be addressed by the law enforcement authorities, that will take its own road.”

This case has Bay Area ties. Ridder, 35, is the son of former Knight Ridder CEO Tony Ridder of Woodside while Singleton’s company controls all of Northern California’s paid dailies except the Chronicle. (See earlier item.)

In related developments, Singleton’s lawyers went to court Wednesday to ask a judge to seize at least a dozen computers and servers from the Star Tribune, equipment Singleton claims contains information Ridder allegedly stole. A ruling is expected in the next few days. Also, the AP is reporting that the union that represents newsroom workers at the Star Tribune is calling for an independent inquiry of the matter, based on allegations in Singleton’s lawsuit against Ridder.

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