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Tim Goeglein

White House column was copied

WASHINGTON - A Fort Wayne native and White House official acknowledged Friday he copied large portions of an essay that appeared in a Dartmouth College publication and presented them as his own in a News-Sentinel column.

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

He said he wrote to the author of the essay, Jeffrey Hart "to apologize, and do so categorically and without exception."

Nancy Nall, a former News-Sentinel columnist who writes a blog from her home in Michigan, detailed the nearly word-for-word similarities of eight paragraphs of Goeglein's 16-pargraph essay about college education, which appeared in the News-Sentinel on Thursday, and Hart's column, which was written about a decade ago.

Kerry Hubartt, editor of the News-Sentinel, said his newspaper learned of the apparent plagiarism Friday when Nall wrote about it.

He said the newspaper had removed Goeglein's column from its Web site and that editors were checking Goeglein's past columns for any other examples of copying.

He said when the paper's investigation is complete, readers will be notified.

"If we think it's warranted, we will certainly apologize to our readers," Hubartt said, adding that if the investigation substantiates that Goeglein copied Hart's writings, "we would not use any columns (of Goeglein's) in the future."

Goeglein has worked in the Bush White House since 2001 as the Bush administration's liaison to religious organizations. He formerly worked for then-Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.