With the Union-Tribune up for sale, executives are rushing to clear the decks of as many unwanted encumbrances as possible. At least one is apparently now history, after a federal judge late last month dismissed a libel suit filed against the U-T by a Washington, D.C. limousine-service operator over a story the paper ran linking him to prostitutes in the Randy “Duke” Cunningham bribery affair. In the case filed in May of last year, Shirlington Limousine and Transportation, Inc., and its owner, Chris Baker, claimed that U-T financial writer Dean Calbreath falsely reported that Shirlington limos “would pick up Congressman Duke Cunningham and a prostitute and take them to the ADCS hospitality suite.” ADCS was the firm owned by Brent Wilkes, convicted with the ex-Congressman in the bribery case. But in his July 24 ruling, Judge Royce C. Lamberth agreed with U-T attorneys that federal court in Washington was not the proper venue to file suit against the San Diego–based publisher and tossed the complaint.

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