White House Religious Liaison Quits After Admitting Plagiarism

The White House liaison on religious affairs who admitted in a Friday news article that he had lifted someone else's material for an opinion column has resigned.

Tim Goeglein had worked for the White House since 2001, and helped establish President Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiative — a major initiative — as well as the president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, according to a statement from White House press secretary Dana Perino.

"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 president was disappointed to learn of the matter, and he was saddened for Tim and his family," Perino said.

"He has long appreciated Tim's service, and he knows him to be a good person who is committed to his country. President Bush accepted Tim's resignation today."

Perino also said that Goeglein played a major role in the confirmation of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

"Tim Goeglein has loyally served President Bush for over seven years and worked tirelessly on his behalf to promote the Presidents policies," Perino said.

Goeglein admitted to the plagiarism, according to a report Friday in The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Journal Gazette.

According to the paper, Goeglein — a Fort Wayne native — copied large portions of an essay that appeared in a Dartmouth College publication about a decade ago. Goeglein's own column appeared earlier this month in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

"It is true," Goeglein wrote in an e-mail to The Journal Gazette, according to the paper. "I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

The News-Sentinel wrote on its Web site that it will no longer print articles from Goeglein, and said that he has said there may be other unattributed information in previous columns.

"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. 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," according to the News-Sentinel's Web site.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here to read the full report in The Journal Gazette.

Click here to read The News-Sentinel's editor's response.