Speech writer for Bush quits under shadow of accusations

Published January 19, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Lloyd Brown, the editorial writer who quit after he was accused of plagiarism and sexual harassment, has quit his new job as a speech writer for Gov. Jeb Bush.

In a resignation letter submitted Friday, Brown said he can better serve the governor by "not being a distraction from the important work he is doing on behalf of the people of Florida."

Brown, 65, said sensationalized news stories about him were used to attack Bush. Brown quit as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville Nov. 2 after an internal review found instances of plagiarism in some editorials he had written.

The investigation was prompted by allegations by a former Times-Union editorial writer that Brown had committed plagiarism and viewed Internet pornography and held sexual conversations in his office. She made the allegations in an article she wrote for Folio Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Jacksonville. The internal investigation did not address the sexual harassment claims.

Word of Brown's $80,000 job became public a day after the governor fired Terry White, head of the Department of Elder Affairs, for alleged sexual harassment.

Brown quit two days after Bush defended the hire, saying the allegations "were not quite accurate" and that he was "thankful for the fact that he is willing to serve here in state government."