Portland mayoral candidate’s letter lifts from Oregonian

Oops — this might cost him an endorsement!

A letter to the editor in the St. John’s Review signed by Portland mayoral candidate Charlie Hales (right) contains passages lifted from a 2009 Oregonian story. Reporter Casey Parks writes:

The passages made it appear Hales had taken a recent tour of St. Johns, but the description of scenes and dialogue came from a reporter who took the tour three years ago. It did not include Hales.

The candidate blames the plagiarism on a campaign volunteer. “This was something that somebody here wrote that I signed,” he tells the reporter.

Another Oregonian reporter congratulated Parks on her story this morning and asked how she learned the paragraphs were lifted. She wrote her colleague in an email that was forwarded to me:

I read Charlie’s letter to the editor and thought it would be a good story to write about his wanting to reopen the precinct. So I pulled all of our old North Precinct clips and saw the story that Lisa [Grace Lednicer] had written. I thought it was weird that both tours included seeing [a police officer named] Sarah 20 minutes into it, so I called the guy who gave the tour, went and met him and started asking questions.

Meanwhile, former Oregonian reporter Lednicer writes on her Facebook wall: “Lesson from today’s front-page story in the Oregonian: Even though I’ve left the newspaper, my writing is still good enough to swipe.”

* Letter to the editor signed by mayoral candidate uses passages from the Oregonian (oregonlive.com)
* Mayoral candidate’s letter to the St. John’s Review (St. John’s Review)
* From 2009: Police precinct consolidation worries Portland residents (oregonlive.com)