LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Times is fighting a federal judge”s order to remove information from an article involving a court document meant to be kept from the public eye.
The newspaper reports that it filed an emergency motion Sunday to put Judge John Walter”s order on hold.
On Monday, Walter ordered prosecutors to file their position on the newspaper”s arguments by the end of the day. He set a hearing in the matter for Tuesday.
The plea agreement the Times wrote about involved a Glendale police officer who pleaded guilty to bribery, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators about whether he has connections with the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.
The agreement was supposed to be filed under seal but it was mistakenly made available in an online database for an unknown amount of time.
Walter didn”t explain why he ordered the Times to withdraw its article. The newspaper followed the order but disagrees with it and hopes it will be vacated.
The order “clearly violates the First Amendment,” Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of the newspaper, said in a statement.
“We believe that once material is in the public record, it is proper and appropriate to publish it if it is newsworthy,” Pearlstine said.