Plagiarism and Menard’s Canard?
Woonsocket (along with Jamestown) will be holding an off-year election this November, to be preceded on October 9 by a primary for City Council and Mayor on October 9. This is undoubtedly the driving force behind the revelation that significant portions of the speech that incumbent Mayor Susan Menard gave in June at Woonsocket’s High School graduation ceremonies had been plagiarized from one given by Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell a month earlier.
In a wonderful bit of irony, the emphasis of the “joint” speech was character. The Valley Breeze’s Ethan Shorey points out that during the speech, the Mayor:
… had trouble with the word theologian, pronouncing it wrong. She also stumbled over several other words in the copied portion of her speech, skipping the word “leprous” when it came up in a stolen passage.
Her Honor denies that she is the author but also insists that she cannot recall who on her staff supplied the speech to her, leaving us in the dark at the moment as to the identity of the plagiarist.
Mayor Menard is seeking a seventh term. This is not the first time she has “appropriated” — would her PR flak prefer the term “borrowed”? — something that did not belong to her. During the 2005 campaign, she committed a major no-no by drafting both city equipment and the highly unapproved research services of Woonsocket’s Chief of Police in her bid for reelection.