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Indianapolis Star Columnist Fired

September 8, 1999

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A TV columnist for The Indianapolis Star and News was fired Tuesday for allegedly plagiarizing material from other publications.

Steve Hall, who recently was suspended for one apparent incident of plagiarism, was dismissed after a review turned up more examples, according to an announcement Tuesday on the newspaper’s Web site by Executive Editor Frank Caperton.

``In these cases, stories published under Hall’s byline were similar to stories that had appeared in other publications,″ Caperton wrote. ``Hall had been warned at the time of his suspension that he would be dismissed if further lapses came to light.″

Caperton declined further comment.

Hall did not return calls Tuesday from The Associated Press. He told WRTV, an Indianapolis TV station, that he wishes the newspaper had handled the situation differently.

``I think it’s unfortunate that I’m being fired over similarities in a handful of stories considering that I wrote more than 5,200 stories during the 12 years I worked for the Star,″ Hall said.

On Aug. 27, Hall was suspended for three weeks without pay after editors at the paper noticed a story he had submitted for publication was similar to one published in a different newspaper.

The apparently plagiarized story was never published.

Hall, who had been a TV writer at the newspaper for 13 years, apologized in a statement that was run on the front page of the newspaper the next day.

``Because of time pressures, I made a stupid mistake and violated a sacred law of our profession,″ he said in the statement. ``I apologize to our readers and my family, co-workers and friends.″

The newsroom staffs of the Star and News merged in 1995 and the News is due to close Oct. 1.

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