Plagiarist Chris Spence tries to get plagiarism charges reversed on technicality

CP24 | National Post | The Toronto Star

Due to “procedural irregularities,” the former director of the Toronto District School Board is hoping to get plagiarism charges against him dropped. On Wednesday, Chris Fox wrote about it for CP24 in Toronto.

Chris Spence resigned from the TDSB in January, 2013 after admitting to plagiarizing passages in several newspaper opinion pieces he had written while employed by the board.

Two months later the University of Toronto filed academic charges against Spence, saying that he “knowingly represented” the ideas of another as his own work in his 1996 doctoral thesis titled “The Effects of Sport Participation on the Academic and Career Aspirations of Black Male Student Athletes in Toronto High Schools.”

The “procedural irregularities”? Fox reports that Spence’s lawyer said it took the university too long to file charges. It also “did not have permission to run the thesis through the anti-plagiarism website turnitin.com.”

Robyn Urback wrote about Spence and his troubles finding a new job (guess why) on Wednesday for the National Post.

On Tuesday, Kristin Rushowy wrote about the move to get charges dropped and what led to the charges in the first place.

In an interview with the Star last summer, Spence blamed the plagiarism in his published work on his ambition, heavy workload and also said the carelessness of a number of his assistants over the years.

He did not admit to knowingly using the words of others, including one example where he wrote about the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn., where he relayed a conversation he had with his son. The words were near identical to those of writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Last year, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon wrote about the initial charges of plagiarism, which ran in columns in the Star.

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