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Charter school official sues Philadelphia Inquirer for defamation

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  1. Libel and Privacy
A charter school official is suing The Philadelphia Inquirer for defamation, the paper reports.

A charter school official is suing The Philadelphia Inquirer for defamation, the paper reports.

Vahan Gureghian, chief executive of the managing company for Chester Community Charter School, claims a series of articles on the school’s handling of public funds were fueled by failed business negotiations he says he had with the Inquirer publisher. According to the newspaper, the articles pointed out that the charter had spent a consistently high proportion on administration expenses and a consistently low portion on teaching.

Inquirer editor William Marimow countered in the paper that the reporting was "accurate . . . thorough . . . . and it focuses on an issue of public importance."

"To me, that is what the First Amendment is all about," Marimow said.

A lawyer for The Inquirer’s parent company, Philadelphia Media Holdings, challenged Gureghian’s claims that he and publisher Brian P. Tierney were even in "negotiations regarding a business transaction," as the paper put it.