In 1998, Michael Gallagher pleaded guilty to two felony charges accusing him of accessing Chiquita’s voice-mail system for a hard-hitting series about the company. (It ran in an 18-page special section.) The Cincinnati Enquirer fired Gallagher, apologized to Chiquita Brands and paid it more than $10 million to avoid being sued.
The Enquirer reports today that Gallagher, who was sentenced to five years probation in 1998, had his record expunged last week by a Hamilton County judge. “Legally, that’s the same as saying Gallagher’s thefts, his conviction and sentence never happened,” writes Kimball Perry.