A White House official who serves as President Bush's middleman with conservatives and Christian groups has resigned after admitting to plagiarism. Twenty columns he wrote for an Indiana newspaper were determined to have material copied from other sources without attribution.
Timothy Goeglein, who has worked for Bush since 2001, acknowledged that he lifted material from a Dartmouth College publication and presented it as his own work in a column about education for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The White House said Goeglein has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the president. A White House statement says the president was disappointed to learn of the matter and was saddened for Goeglein and his family. It said Bush has long appreciated his service and knows him to be a good person who is committed to his country.
"His behavior is not acceptable and we are disappointed in Tim's actions," White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said earlier in the day. "He is offering no excuses and he agrees it was wrong."
She said officials were looking into allegations that Goeglein had plagiarized other material. The News-Sentinel said it had found at least two other cases. Goeglein's action was brought to light in a posting by a blogger, Nancy Nall.
Goeglein was a special assistant to Mr. Bush and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, which is responsible for outreach to different groups about the president's policies.
Goeglein has admitted that portions of the column were used from another source without attribution, News-Sentinel editor Kerry Hubartt said in a story on the paper's Web site.
"He has apologized to the editors of The News-Sentinel and also said there may be other previous columns he has written for The News-Sentinel that also may contain plagiarized material," Hubartt said. "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 said it was the paper's policy that all writers attribute sources of information they use for publication. "We will not publish writings by Goeglein in the future," he said.
Lawrimore said the White House press office was unaware that Goeglein was writing a column. "He recalls that he informed someone in the White House press office earlier in the administration," she said.
Nall posted a comparison of Goeglein's work with an essay by Jeffrey Hart in the Dartmouth Review.
Goeglein's column said this:
"A notable professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College in the last century, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey, expressed the matter succinctly. His wisdom is not only profound but also worth pondering in this new century. He said, "The goal of education is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.
"He meant that, I think, in quite a large sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of, but rather to be an educated man or woman, you needed to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of our civilization.
"This does not mean you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a citizen of this one, you should be aware of what it is and where it we came from. It can hardly be challenged that the United States of America is part of the narrative of European history."
Hart's essay said this:
"A notable Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey often expressed the matter succinctly, `The goal of education,' he would say,`is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.'
"He meant that in quite large a sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of.
"He meant that you need to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of your this civilization.
"This certainly does not mean that you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a Citizen of this one you should be aware of what it is and where it came from. It can scarcely be challenged that the United States is part of the narrative of European history."