Judge Orders Los Angeles Times to Change Published Article

A federal judge ordered the Los Angeles Times to remove information from an article that came from court documents that were supposed to be sealed, but somehow wound up on the court database PACER. The report in question details a plea agreement for a police detective who was accused of collaborating with the Mexican mafia. The newspaper has scrubbed the information, but plans to fight the order. “We believe that once material is in the public record, it is proper and appropriate to publish it if it is newsworthy,” said Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine. Judge John F. Walter, did not explain his decision to the Times. “Typically, courts take into account if information was already published. Where it is no longer secret, the point of the restraining order is mooted,” said Kelli Sager, a lawyer representing the paper. “To order a publication to claw it back doesn’t even serve the interest that may be intended.”