Judge criticizes probe of taped meeting in Philadelphia Newspapers bankruptcy case

Judge faults taping probe in Philly newspaper case

PHILADELPHIA — The judge overseeing Philadelphia Newspapers’ bankruptcy has criticized a creditor group’s investigation into the alleged illegal taping of a meeting.

Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich is considering whether to let the newspapers hire counsel to pursue the issue.

Publisher Brian Tierney says the taping soured negotiations and helped force his company into bankruptcy. But Raslavich questioned that premise Tuesday and compared the parties’ feud to a “schoolyard sandbox” fight.

The company publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Tierney hopes to shed much of the outstanding $400 million debt through reorganization. Creditors are preparing their own reorganization plan that includes new management.

Lawyer Robert Graci, who led the creditors’ taping investigation, says he was constrained by time and money.

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