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O.C. councilman who named his dog Muhammad loses teaching job

A San Juan Capistrano city councilman who was accused of plagiarism in several columns for an online news website has been dismissed from his job as political science instructor at a local college, according to published reports.

It’s unclear why Derek Reeve was released from his teaching job several weeks into the semester at Concordia University in Irvine, the San Juan Capistrano Patch reported.

Since winning office last year, Reeve has become controversial for proposing the open carrying of unloaded weapons in San Juan Capistrano parks and for naming his dog after Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

Concordia did not return a Times phone call and, when asked about the Concordia job, Reeve wrote in an email to The Times: “I am not at liberty to comment. Hopefully that will change in the coming weeks.”

Reeve has been accused by the Patch, owned by AOL and the Huffington Post, of lifting large chunks of several blog posts from other sources without attribution.

In a Sept. 26 column, San Juan Capistrano Patch editor Jenna Chandler said she found “dozens and dozens” of lifted paragraphs. In one case, she wrote,  “an entire post submitted by Reeve matched content from other publications. In others, as much as two-thirds of Reeve's essays were a patchwork of paragraphs identical” to material published elsewhere.

Chandler said the Patch had ceased publishing Reeve’s blog columns. His published posts remain up, but include the disclaimer: "Patch has learned that many of the paragraphs in the blog appear to be lifted from other publications without attribution."

Reeve referred The Times to a column he wrote for the Orange County Register.

In it, he wrote that he “carelessly submitted previously published material” for a Patch blog post.

“This was a blog worthy of Facebook, not a formal article, yet now the editor has the chutzpa to compare this to a student's thesis, which is like comparing apples to gorillas,” Reeve wrote.

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-- Sam Quinones

twitter.com/samquinones7

 
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