White House Aide Accused of Plagiarism

A low level White House aide has been rebuked for plagiarism but apparently still has his job.

A White House aide accused of plagiarism was chastised Friday and his actions were criticized as unacceptable.

Timothy Goeglein, who has worked for President Bush since 2001, was accused of lifting material from an essay that appeared in a Dartmouth College publication and presenting it as his own work in a newspaper column for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“His behavior is not acceptable and we are disappointed in Tim’s actions,” White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said. “He is offering no excuses and he agrees it was wrong.” She said officials were looking into allegations that Goeglein had plagarized other material. His action was brought to light in a posting by a blogger, Nancy Nall.

Goegelin has worked at the White House since 2001. He is a special assistant to Bush and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, which is responsible for outreach to different groups about the president’s policies.

The facts are rather sketchy at this point but it’s simply baffling that someone in a position of public trust would be stealing essays from college newspapers and passing them off as his own in op-eds for third rate newspapers.

UPDATE: Nancy Nall‘s post on the subject. Apparently, she’s been following Goeglein’s columns for the paper for some time and previous ones are just awful. Certainly, that the White House Office of Public Liaison is hiring bad writers is no more comforting than their employing plagiarists.

The stolen essay in question is from a Jeffrey Hart. If it’s the Jeffrey Hart, which seems likely given the Dartmouth connection, I suppose Goeglein can be credited for stealing well. Then again, when bad writers suddenly start writing good prose, it’s usually a tip-off to plagiarism.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.