Chester County Court Judge William P. Mahon on Monday was asked to order Google, the search-engine giant, to block a November 2005 news release on builder Gregory Hill's case from appearing on its Web site.

The release from the U.S. Attorney's Office Web site, which announced Hill's arrest on charges that he paid some transient workers under the table for two years, creates a potential embarrassment for Hill and his family, his attorney argued. The judge pointed out that he had no authority to intervene. Because Hill, 49, of Devon, has not sued Google, it is not a party to any litigation before the judge.

Hill's attorney, Jeffrey Sotland, countered that an e-mail from Google indicated that a lawsuit could be avoided. The e-mail said: "You are correct in that a court order would be sufficient in us removing from our search results the press release concerning your client."

Mahon was unmoved, repeating that a court order with no legal authority could be legally ignored. Sotland said yesterday that he had not yet consulted with Hill about what, if anything, to do next. - Inquirer staff