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Judge grants preliminary injunction against CIF

July 23, 2010 | 10:05 am

An Orange County Superior Court judge has granted a preliminary injunction barring the CIF Southern Section from disclosing the punishment imposed by Santa Margarita for violating CIF rules last March.

The Times had filed a request under the California Public Records Act seeking access to Southern Section documents and information detailing the punishment. Santa Margarita and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange successfully gained a temporary restraining order preventing release of the penalty.

On Friday, Judge Steven L. Perk ruled that the punishment was part of a personnel matter and applies to an  exception of the California Public Records Act. A CIF attorney had argued in seeking to release the information that "CIF needs to uphold its accountability to the public."

Santa Margarita has admitted violating undue-influence rules in a March 31 open house in which football Coach Harry Welch addressed youth football parents. The Southern Section sought to impose a one-year playoff ban for the football team but later agreed to a different penalty after Santa Margarita offered a compromise. The Times attempted to find out the specifics of the penalty through the California Public Records Act.

The next step in the case is setting a trial date.

-- Eric Sondheimer