Paul Gallegos did not pull a Stunich
On September 8, 2006, The Humboldt Herald reported that Humboldt DA Paul Gallegos was guilty of “pulling a Stunich” when he was accused of plagiarizing portions of two editorials that appeared in the Times-Standard. Eureka lawyer Andy Stunich faced accusations of plagiarism in the blogosphere in July when it was discovered that an editorial by him in the Eureka Reporter contained portions of writings that appeared on another website.
There are several differences between Gallegosgate and Stunichgate. When the accusations of plagiarism surfaced, Gallegos apologized and voiced humiliation. In contrast, Stunich argued that the copyright on the sentences he borrowed was probably invalid. He then claimed he had permission to use portions of the work.
Also, as repeatedly pointed out here, the Stunich editorial appeared in the ER, which had threatened to bring Lucifer’s hammer down on anyone who dared submit a letter or editorial written by someone other than the person offering it for publication. The Gallegos editorials, on the other hand, were not published in the Eureka Reporter, but appeared in the T-S.
Mr. Stunich has demanded a correction from this blogger that Mr. Gallegos did not “pull a Stunich.” Based on the above-mentioned differences, I agree.
Whether or not Stunich’s actions legally constitute plagiarism is not for me to say. The experts, however, have voiced their opinions. The ER quoted Lee Bowker, PH.D as saying “The taking of even a single line from another source without attribution is plagiarism.”
The North Coast Journal stated this week that “Andrew Stunich did not commit plagiarism. Repeat: He did not commit plagiarism. All right? He merely took someone else’s words and put them under his own name.” Fair enough.
Andy’s latest response to this situation has been posted on Eric Kirk’s blog, and will reportedly be published in the ER. While I disagree that Stunich has been “viciously attacked” for his actions, I understand why he feels defensive. However, criticisms posted on this blog have largely been directed at the Eureka Reporter for their hypocritical handling of the situation.