Foggo: ‘Do Honourable Thing & Relinquish Title’

February 23, 2015

[Updated] Shadow Education Minister Lovitta Foggo said that she is “dismayed by the recent actions” of OBA MP Leah Scott, and hopes that “after the strong negative reaction to MP Scott’s less than acceptable explanation, that she will do the honourable thing and relinquish the title of Junior Minister for Education.”

This statement follows after accusations of plagiarism were made against Ms Scott after strong similarities were noted between a letter to the editor penned by Ms Scott and a 2010 article on an overseas website.

In response, Ms Scott said “while it is alleged that I have directly plagiarized, this is untrue,” adding that her “error in submitting the letter without references was inadvertent and unintentional.”

“I will never win in the court of public opinion on this matter, and I am not going to try to. I can only humble myself and apologise to all who I have offended,” added Ms. Scott, who is the Jr Minister of Education.

In a statement this evening [Feb 23], Ms Foggo said, “As a former educator I am dismayed by the recent actions of OBA MP and Junior Minister of Education, Leah Scott, where she denied plagiarism in her recent ‘Letter to the Editor’.

“When comparing an op-ed published on ‘hellobeautiful.com’ back in 2010 to the letter the Junior Minister submitted last week, the contents were strikingly similar.

“This has led to accusations of plagiarism in the public domain, as evidenced both on local media websites, social media and over the airwaves. However, the OBA MP continues to deny what appears as the obvious to many Bermudians.

“An apology and admission would seem to have been the logical response; however this not being the case has only served to further inflame the situation,” continued Ms Foggo.

“Her subsequent attempt to qualify plagiarism by stating that she didn’t copy ‘word for word’ is an affront and no defense. As a member of the local bar and the Junior Minister of Education, Ms. Scott has fallen short. As Junior Minister of Education she should be a standard bearer.

“Any statement implying that it is okay to take someone else’s work as long as you don’t copy ‘word for word’ is certainly not a practice accepted in academia at any level; primary, secondary nor tertiary. The usual result to such an action is a zero allocation or the grade ‘F’.

“I would suggest that MP Scott’s behaviour would warrant like consequences especially since this is compounded by no admission or expression of apology.

“How would a student deem this behaviour? Does she pass the test? Would an honour student retain such a title if she was found to have plagiarized? Should the Junior Minister expect to retain her title?

“In order to promote excellence in our school system we must lead by example and be a testament to the behaviour we expect of our students.

“I would hope that after the strong negative reaction to MP Scott’s less than acceptable explanation, that she will do the honourable thing and relinquish the title of Junior Minister for Education,” concluded Ms Foggo.

Update 9.17pm: Article/headline amended to reflect an additional statement received post-publishing.

Update Feb 24, 11.29am: ‎Premier Michael Dunkley advised that he has been in discussions with Ms Scott regarding the letter, and said that Ms Scott has “extended a wholehearted apology” to the Premier in respect of the matter.

The Premier advised that he is “satisfied that an important lesson has been learned by MP Scott, and he has every confidence in Ms Scott going forward.”

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  1. tom cooke says:

    ” Et tu btrutus”…..

    Seriously. ..

    • Nancy says:

      Mrs. Scott position as Shadow Minister of Education has become untenable. MPs Scott this morning clearly indicated that she did not carry out the act of PLAGIARISM. An article this morning indicated that she outright denies plagiarizing an article in another place. MP Scott said that “while it is alleged that I have directly plagiarized, this is untrue. “What world is she living in?

      Moving forward, on the news it was reported that MP Scott later wrote Mr. Dunkley to say she was sorry for her actions. If she was indeed sorry this suggested she is indeed guilty of carrying out the act of PLAGIARISM in her article. Why has she failed to extend such an apology to the Bermuda public? Mrs. Scott continues to dig a bigger hole for herself, rather than take the stand up action and deliver an outright apology to all of the Bermuda public. Looks like she has wrap a ‘tangle web’, and is now tied up around it.

      MP Scott is a lawyer, and it is without a doubt her training prepared her to at least know what PLAGIARISM is and looks like, but instead she continues to spin this issue in circles. These actions of a person in such high standings with in our community is not acceptable. Yet she will be allowed to continue to stand. Maybe MP Scott needs to take a break from writing such amateurish articles that add nothing to the positive movement Bermuda. A higher quality of writing is what we expect from our Politicians. Hopefully, MP Scott would awake to the real situation here, and deal with it.

      This action is one that is not good and brings into question the integrity of MP Scott. It also makes one question what message she as Shadow Minister of Education is sending to our children. Her actions must be addressed, and a mere apology might not go far enough. Should she step down, maybe as we tend to accept too much from our Politicians?

      • Creamy says:

        Would you demand that ANY politician who has been involved in covering up plagiarism should relinquish his post?

        • Just sayin says:

          Seen this done before on the PLP side. No body made a fuss then. But plp gotta grumble cause oba is getting a handle on fixing the messes they made.

          • Ringmaster says:

            @Creamy. Are you suggesting, as an example, the PLP would need a replacement Shadow Minister of Finance?

            • serengetiperson says:

              Perhaps he should resign first, and set the example. His supporters seem to feel very strongly about the principle involved.

              • This point had been quite relevant:
                “My evidence is the R/G article “youth charity accuses Premier of lifting content”, October 25, 2011. Mr. Burt, then a Junior Minister, was up to his ears in that attempted deception. Strangely, nothing at all happened. They didn’t apologize, and nobody resigned from anything.
                However now that we know how strongly P.L.P. sympathizers feel about the issue, I am sure they are already writing articles and columns calling for Mr. Burt to resign his position as Shadow Finance Minister.”
                I know, “don’t hold my breath” :-(

                • Creamy says:

                  Exactly.
                  When Leah Scott does something, they pretend to be “dismayed”. Foggo, Starling, Famous, Eron, all calling for resignation. But when you remind them of the Cox/Burt plagiarism and attempted cover-up, what do we get? Nothing. No reaction at all. Pretend it never happened. Silence.
                  Suddenly the big “ethics” issue doesn’t count. Suddenly their “principles” disappear.
                  What a bunch of hypocrites.

      • Onion says:

        “Nancy” remember that time you replied to yourself congratulating yourself on a good post? Guess you forgot to change names between posts.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Ms. Scott, you took an opportunity to highlight an attitude and behaviour that is alive and far to often would rather be ignored by those in this community that have no problem with it, just next time, try to remember to credit where credit is due. This latest statement out of the PLP camp only highlights the message you were trying to convey, while many are trying to keep focus on what you did, enough of us have heard the message through the noise of what you were trying to say. The political self-serving hypocrisy of what Ms Foggo has chosen as deem worth calling on people to resign over, and what she has remained silent on is not lost amongst the noise, say strong and carry on.

    • Huh says:

      Ms Scott said “while it is alleged that I have directly plagiarized, this is untrue,” adding that her “error in submitting the letter without references was inadvertent and unintentional.”
      “I will never win in the court of public opinion on this matter, and I am not going to try to. I can only humble myself and apologise to all who I have offended,” added Ms. Scott

    • Mockingjay says:

      The word HONOURABLE is kind of being abused, SOME politicians have this title and are far from it.

  2. Chaos Theory says:

    So, we had the three musketeers this morning of Famous, Hill and Dickerson. Looks like we have found the fourth musketeer.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It adds more credibility to MP Scott’s point in her piece. It is interesting that the attack seems to be more on the messenger and none on the message. She took a message from an older article and brought it back to light, adapting it in her own words… her greatest crime is not acknowledging that she had read it somewhere else. How many have not done this at some point… seriously.

      • frank says:

        mp scott should just fall on her sword and step down an by the way why is she still jr. minister of education da

      • mj says:

        not many of us that are JUNIOR MINISTER of EDUCATION..dah

    • Navin Johnson says:

      I prefer Moe,Larry,Curly and Shemp

  3. Soooo says:

    Why don’t you MP’s put as much energy into doing the right thing for Bermuda as you do critizing each other…. The PLP published multiple reports and pamphlets that were “copies” of someone else’s work… The “gangs” boolet comes to mind which was a word for word copy of one produced in Boston…

    Get you finger out and grow up!!!!

    • Unbelievable says:

      HELLO!!??

      And remember Minister Michael Scott’s doodle drawings on the note pad during a very important hospital meeting? The Progressive Labour Party – The Party without fault. Whatever.

  4. PLAY JUR EYES says:

    Ms. Foggo, please show examples of where PLP minister “did the right thing”. Here are just a few that come to ming=d.

    T-Street / Housing Corporation Scandal
    Missing Cedar
    Quigars
    Tuckers Point SDO
    We Had To Deceive You speech
    Bermuda Cement Co.
    Bermuda Housing Corporation / Flatts Property
    Proactive
    TCD and Bda Emissions
    Dockyard Pier
    Port Royal
    Auditor General Bullying Tactics
    Coco Reefs 99 Year Gift Lease For What?
    Faith Based Tourism Scandal?
    Whites Island 24 Year Gift Lease?
    Marijuana Tea to a Child?
    $800 million missing?

    If you can look past all of these examples(and there are more) and the most you have to complain about within the OBA is a silly article, YAY!

    • johnny says:

      In the first breath you complain about a long list of things you feel the PLP done wrong years ago and have been held accountable for by being voted out. Then right away you call people who complain silly. Look who is calling the kettle black.

      • It's About Time! says:

        Um Johnny….NO WAY IN HELL has the PLP been held accountable for their deeds by being VOTED OUT!!! NO WAY IN HELL do they get a free pass just because they were voted out!!!! They were voted out BECAUSE of what they did…they STILL have to be held accountable!!!

        don’t even try and pull that BS…….

      • Damn Rather says:

        @Johnny, where in the post is anyone being called silly? If you read carefully, you will see that all it says is” a silly article”.

        The PLP have never been accountable. Who acknowledged wrong doing? Who resigned after the many scandals and misuse of public funds? Who resigned over the gifting of contracts to F&F? Who resigned over Tuckers Pont SDO? Who resigned over hate driven comments? Who resigned after the AG acknowledged questionable practices? Who has quit over missing public monies? Who was held accountable? Nobody! Give us a break. Been down that road before.

    • chivas says:

      To be fair the marijuana tea wasn’t a PLP thing. It was a Marc Bean thing. The PLP isn’t at fault for that one, just Marc Bean. However, the others are good points.

      • Navin Johnson says:

        Excuse me with the things that Bean has said and done without comment from the PLP I think it is safe to say he IS the PLP

    • Onion says:

      Leah messed up with this – and my hope is that privately the OBA have made it 100% clear that this was unacceptable.

      The test will be to see if it has happened again. What was bad about the PLP was not just that they made mistakes or did unethical things but that they made the same mistakes and were unethical time and time again.

      The same goes for MP Weeks’ recent dishonest smear. We will see if he does it again.

    • Come Correct says:

      Quighers tho…LOL.

    • Islander says:

      you not being seen in your Constituency since 2012 at least not in my neck of the Community and PLP wonder why some don’t vote you have lost my vote and that of my family BE GONE All YOU LOT!!

    • Mockingjay says:

      And O.B.A/ubp have outdone P.L.P in two years.

  5. jt says:

    Precious.

  6. Coffee says:

    She shouldn’t have to resign ; she should be made to do lines… No, no , not those type of lines , these type .. ‘ I am a plagiarizer , I got caught , I really should resign , but times are hard and I really need the money .’ If she could write that 50 times on the blackboard in 50 minutes then she could keep her job , otherwise she should .. GET GOING !

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    They are out in the hayfield again grasping at straws.

    They must wish that the OBA would do something really stupid like smuggle some prisoners in the middle of the night. Then they would have something serious to moan about.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    Oh look! Foggo woke up this week! Where’s she been? I haven’t seen her strolling around Hamilton aimlessly lately.

    One thing however and this is to the OBA: you have one very, very simple job and that is to do all the things that the PLP couldn’t, wouldn’t and/or realised they had to do. That’s your one job. if you do all those things and stop making yourselves look like a bunch of amateurs (which I know you aren’t), you’ll be fine. Now go do it.

  9. Ronnie Viera says:

    I am certainly not condoning what Ms. Scott did however while the PLP are quick to ask OBA people to resign, never has a PLP MP resigned from anything. Lest we forget, their own Leader has made a few comments which unbecoming of a political leader but of course he never resigned or expressed remorse. Before you set the standard, demonstrate you will follow it!

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Maybe because the PLP Leader spoke the truth regarding the apparent of some women in the OBA. Looking at the last few statements and behaviours by female OBA MPs and insiders, I think the PLP Leader was speaking the truth.

    • J Starling says:

      I seem to recall Walter Roban resigning his Ministry, no?

      • Onion says:

        For clear abuse of power in overruling the planning board to give preferential treatment to his colleagues.

        There’s no comparison.

      • Tolerate says:

        Wait a minute. Not in defense for Mrs Scott; but did you see Walter Robans actions as honorable?
        Wow, I’m shocked Mr. Starling. The fact that two other MP’s stood by letting him take the fall after it was “THEIR ACTIONS” that put him in the position. What happened to the other two?
        Mr. Roban took one for the team and was rewarded less than a year later with a new appointment.
        Please don’t make comments like this assuming the public is dumb. The PLP does this all on their own. They don’t need you trying to defend them while passing yourself off as not being biased. As you said in a previous blog, you have also asked for resignations from them in the past as well? Really; it’s too late to try and appear neutral.
        SMH

    • J Starling says:

      Also, are we now applying the ‘they did it to’ defence?

      So much for doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do.

      • Creamy says:

        If you mean “they did it too”, no, that’s not the point. The point is that you, Foggo, and everyone else sympathetic to the PLP, had no problem with it when “they did it”. In fact, commentators said it was a minor issue.

      • Hmmm says:

        Do tou agree that anyone caught plagerizing should resign?

  10. idiotpatrol says:

    Who cares what Ms.”Back to the Plantation” mentality has to say??

  11. B 4 Real says:

    Not citing correctly – I learned as a teenager at a Canadian university, that you must do your reference/bibliograpghy. Copyright infringement or using others ideas, work, etc. without noting is a legal no no. I learned and taught my students that was wrong. Another reason I decided to respond: that 2010 post in the US website about some women being so negative on women that Leah Scott had printed in the Royal Gazette, I have not experienced women, my friends, colleagues, anonymous shoppers or random encounters with women from various backgrounds “hating” in Bermuda. I interact with various people positively. A lot of women do!

  12. Impressive says:

    I don’t think a resignation is required in this instance, but I think a little admission of a lack of judgement on the part of the minister’s and perhaps a initiative in the education system that addresses this topic (plagiarism) in depth, so the chance for the students to learn from this incident is capitalized upon.

    In addition, and maybe I am being too assuming, but I think incident depicts a trend that I have noticed with the OBA party in which they really don’t think much of the intelligence level of the people who they represent. I think they will be a little more watchful now.. Take from those comments what you may.

    As the song goes “What type of Man would I be, If I can’t talk about what I see”

  13. Jus Wonderin' says:

    WHO REALLY CARES…LMAO! No one frem the PLP camp has resigned at all over far worse things…NEEEXT!

    • Unbelievable says:

      To be fair, Walter Roban did resign over what I can’t remember now. But yes, there should have been a whole lot of other PLP resignations too.

      • Hmmm says:

        But they quickly brought him back.

        • mj says:

          just like Michael Dunkley was quickly brought back! also lest we don’t know, the true author of The Matrix Sophia Stewart fought a long hard battle to win her case against the Wachowski Brothers (one now has gone from Larry to Lana even seen sporting dreadlocks!and a german accent hmmm, with his new female appearance according to cct news report) are owners of the largest media Corps. so this plagerism story has been suppressed because those who own the media will not report against themselves! this type of thing has been going on for years with people using other people material to further their progress without given proper credit!

  14. Bermuda Jake says:

    The plagiarism is bad, but her attempt to spin it is far worse. Saying this has something to do with PLP members not stepping down takes it even lower. Right thinking Bermudians don’t judge solely on political party. Plagiarism is wrong. Minister Scott must acknowledge that.

  15. Oh,I see now says:

    At the very least admit it especially if you have already apologized to the premier.The truth would have set you free and you would have already been yesterdays news.

  16. Oh,I see now says:

    At the very least admit it especially if you have already apologized to the premier.The truth will set you free and you would have already been yesterdays news.

    • Coffee says:

      No , no , no a simple apology is not enough ! The Premier needs to reach into his peanut bag and pull out another one of his nuts to replace her !

  17. Sky Pilot says:

    I have NOTHING to do with the plp,I do not support them.
    however, this MP needs to step down immediately otherwise a very poor message is being sent out to all our students that you can lie and get away with it.

    Wether any plp MP’s quit or not is NOT the point here,as far as I know,none ever did,but this Government needs to show that 2 Wrongs never made a Right.

  18. come on says:

    Col Burch resigned

    • hmmm says:

      Source Bernews 2011 when Cox was Premier.

      Speaking on his recent resignation, Colonel Burch said the Premier “did something I thought was disrespectful, and we disagreed, and we had one little spat ,over one little issue. But I consider her still to be a friend of mine. I am still PLP, I am still going to work for this Government, but I just could not continue in the role that I had then.”

  19. navin johnson says:

    ok this thing has already lived too long…back to work everyone unless you are a civil servant of course as only every other civil servant has any work to do..

  20. soul jah says:

    Thats the biggest problem here, UBP did it, PLP did it, now the OBA is doing it. It was not right then and its not right now it has to stop.

    PILEOFTRICK!!!!!

  21. Double Trouble says:

    This situation is very reminiscent of the “Jetgate” saga which plagued former Premier Cannonier. In both cases the initial actions were not necessarily the major issues. With Cannonier and the others, the accepting of the ride on the private jet showed poor judgement. In this case the act of plagiarism showed equally poor judgement.

    What the public seemed to have found most egregious was Mr. Cannonier’s responses when challenged on the issue. The same applies in this case. The Junior Minister of Education’s explanation describing why she did not directly plagiarize is a weak attempt to diminish her accountability for such poor judgement and is an assault on the intelligence of the people of Bermuda.

    What I find ironic is, when the OBA gathered for the weekend to discuss that Jetgate matter, she was the only member of the OBA team who called for accountability from the persons in positions of trust. The Junior Minister should give thought to her own actions and make the accountable decision.

    • serengetiperson says:

      It is also very similar to the ‘DVDgate’ saga, where nobody seemed to admit there was anything remotely wrong with plagiarizing and then attempting to cover it up.

    • Impressive says:

      great post

  22. chivas says:

    Oh wait. Talking about people that should resign, do you remember this racist comment?

    “We must hasten to employ measures which ensure that our people and our children know that a UBP vote is a vote back to the plantation. It is a vote that will return the shackles to our feet!”

    Wow! How ignorant.

    Something about people in glass houses…

    • Impressive says:

      so, can you please state how this relates to the topic of plagiarism?? Or Are you suggesting that the words that Dr Brown spoke in that instance where taken from another source??

      • Hmmm says:

        That was Foggo in the run up to an election too. Are you saying she took that from Brown.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      WOW! Who made that comment? Hope that person is not an MP. If so & there is any honour in that MP at all a resignation should have been tabled imediately.

      If not, then anything said by that MP holds no credibility at all.

  23. just wondering says:

    So Ms Foggo in 2007 when the then DPP determined that whilst the then Government hadn’t broken any criminal laws but had been “guilty” of unethical behavior do you agree that they ought to have resigned? And (of course) assuming your answer has to be “yes” – why weren’t you in the media calling for this? Or is it that in this case ones ethics are governed (pun intended) ones political affiliation?

  24. SMH says:

    Where was the outcry and call for resignations over the $20M overspend at Port Royal? Hypocrites, this isn’t even a thing. Grow up people. Rome is burning

    • mj says:

      the outcry was the result of the last election , when are you people gonna get that!!!what happened to the last government was a result of things that took place during their administration and it will happen to the oba as well if they continue to disrespect the public!… quit comparing with the former(plpl)government , THEY ARE NO LONGER THERE!! that is clear, so lets deal with this party(oba) who cannot and will not be excused because of the actions of a former party,. the Oba will be judged solely on what they have or haven’t done, not whether someone else did the similar thing or not.

  25. clearasmud says:

    Many of the regular bloggers don’t seem to get it that most people don’t want to be done wrong by anyone! People come on here willing to justify Anything if they like the person and seem unable to determine right from wrong!

  26. sandgrownan says:

    Oh, FFS, the perpetually offended are out in force. Let’s be clear, this is a non-event, nothing. Anyone who puts the word “gate” at the end of this, needs to be slapped, it’s not a scandal, get it?
    If you want to be offended, try this:

    “We must hasten to employ measures which ensure that our people and our children know that a UBP vote is a vote back to the plantation. It is a vote that will return the shackles to our feet!”

    Foggy should hang her head in shame and apologise daily for such a disgusting comment.

  27. Self says:

    Lovita Foggo needs to sit down and take a break. When my eighteen year old daughter (a first time voter) asked her some questions about her party’s performance, she got her knickers in a twist and was down right defensive. When she left, my daughter commented that the only accomplishment Ms Foggo could come up with for herself was making a street one way. Out of the mouths of babes.

  28. Ed Case says:

    PLP-people are only going on about this cos they have nothing else. Honestly, straws should be banned in Bermuda to stop PLP grasping at them!

  29. Lawry says:

    Memo To All PLP Parliamentarians: Do the honourable thing and give back our money.

  30. javerne says:

    Miss Foggo…. how dare she talk about honourable? Where is she registered to vote? Where did she live in the last election and where did she vote in the last election?

  31. Unbelievable says:

    If Leah Scott has to resign then so does Marc Bean for his alleged filthy remarks about women.

    See how that works PLP?

  32. North Rock says:

    Leah Scott made a mistake. Lovita, you ARE a mistake…she apologized, will you ?

  33. Ed Case says:

    The benchmark for resigning was set many years ago – and this ain’t it.

    Lovita – you know it.

    Take a pill. You are embarrassing yourself. Do you really want to be remembered for this silly incident?

    Better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

  34. Need Peace says:

    First of all, Ms Scott’s first mistake was listening to HEARSAY, then acting on it! It’s apparent that Mr. Dunkley allows his wayward scoundrels to run amok instead of demanding a higher standard.

  35. Investor says:

    If I lived in St David’s Mrs.Holhowser would get my vote.