Ball fires staffer for lifting paragraphs in bill memo


An unnamed legislative staffer has been fired after a legislative bill memo was found to have copied two paragraphs from other published work, according to Sen. Greg Ball’s office.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Ball’s Director of Operations Colin Schmitt said the senator’s office identified who was responsible for the apparent plagiarism and was fired.

The fired staff member was not identified.

“As stated previously, the moment this office was notified, we took immediate action to investigate, address this sloppiness and address the staffer responsible,” Schmitt said in a statement. “Since being notified, we have been reviewing all previous work done by the individual. Measures taken include terminating the employment of the employee responsible.”

The Times Union of Albany reported Thursday that a memo justifying a bill sponsored by Ball lifted one paragraph from a Huffington Post essay by a 17-year-old Chicago high school student and another from a Los Angeles Times interview. The bill — inspired by the documentary “Blackfish” — would prevent aquariums in New York from possessing or harboring orca whales.

Ball, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter to address the issue in his own, uh, unique way:


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  1. That’s leadership, immediately throw some poor staffer under a bus. After firing the sacrificial employee he takes to social media to smile and joke about it. Once a demagogue always a demagogue.

  2. Same thing Governor Chris Christie did in New Jersey, if you are representing someone in office and you put out information that is incorrect or you misrepresent the office holder there should be consequences. If Senator Ball were to take no action, you would say he just swept it under the rug.