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White House aide admits plagiarism, resigns

  • Story Highlights
  • Special assistant to the president admits to using author's work for an essay
  • Tim Goeglein: "I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses"
  • White House spokeswoman says Goeglein's actions are "not acceptable"
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From Kathleen Koch
CNN Washington Bureau
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior White House official has resigned after he admitted copying large sections of an essay he wrote for a newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the White House confirmed Friday.

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The White House aide admits he plagiarized in an essay he wrote.

President Bush accepted the resignation of Tim Goeglein.

"Today, Tim accepted responsibility for the columns published under his name in his local newspaper, and has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the President," the White House said in a written statement. "The President was disappointed to learn of the matter, and he was saddened for Tim and his family. He has long appreciated Tim's service, and he knows him to be a good person who is committed to his country.

In an e-mail to The News-Sentinel, Goeglein, special assistant to the president and deputy director of public liaison, apologizes, saying, "It is true. I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

Goeglein said he has reached out to the author, Jeffery Hart, whose 1998 writings in the Dartmouth Review he copied nearly verbatim. "I have written to Jeff to apologize, and do so categorically and without exception," he says.

Earlier Friday, the White House press office provided the e-mail to CNN. Spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said the White House was made aware of Goeglein's column and actions Friday morning.

"It's not acceptable," Lawrimore said. "And we're disappointed in Tim's actions."

Goeglein wrote a weekly column for The News-Sentinel. A former columnist who writes a blog from her Michigan home, Nancy Nall, discovered the matching paragraphs and revealed them online Friday.

In a letter to readers on the newspaper's Web site, editor Kerry Hubartt says it will no longer publish Goeglein's writings, and writes the problem could go beyond just one column.

"We have found material in at least two other previous guest columns lifted from other sources without attribution and are continuing to check other previous submissions," he says.

Hart, an author and former professor at Columbia and Dartmouth, said he received Goeglein's e-mail apology Thursday. "I told him I was flattered he'd used it. It doesn't damage him in my estimation at all. I'm glad he spread the word."

But Hart said he wasn't condoning plagiarism. "If it came in an academic context, it'd have to be dealt with," he said, but he feels this situation is different. "I think stuff flies around on the Web, in journalism and so on." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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