ASU professor accused of plagiarism on admin leave

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Matthew Whitaker (Source: ASU.edu) Matthew Whitaker (Source: ASU.edu)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

An Arizona State University professor embroiled in plagiarism allegations and controversy has been put on administrative leave and relieved of all his duties. 

This is the latest blow to Dr. Matthew Whitaker, who is the founding director of ASU's Center for the Study of Race & Democracy.

A university source told CBS 5 News that the university is reviewing allegations that Whitaker's conduct has fallen short of the expectations for a professor and scholar. 

The move, allowed for by the Board of Regents, stems from dealings related to Whitaker's private consulting firm.

In May, The Whitaker Group entered into a $268,000 contract with the City of Phoenix to plan, prepare and teach the city's police officers cultural competency and diversity. 

But in July, shortly after the course began, it was revealed that Whitaker had been demoted at ASU after he was found to have plagiarized portions of his latest book. And that was not the first plagiarism allegation Whitaker faced.  

In 2011, a university investigation found him not guilty of deliberate academic misconduct, but the issue continued to haunt Whitaker. 

Amid mounting pressure for the City of Phoenix to fire Whitaker, he withdrew his company's contract

[READ: Phoenix council members asks for police sensitivity contract be canceled]

It was then uncovered that the majority of the course Whitaker was teaching to police -- for profit -- was taken directly from materials researched and compiled by the Chicago Police Department. Those resources are available to law enforcement agencies for free. 

[READ: More plagiarism accusations against ASU professor]

The City of Phoenix is now demanding a $21,500 refund from Whitaker's company for monies it had already paid.

CBS 5 New has reached out to Whitaker for comment. We are awaiting his response. 

Copyright 2015 CBS 5 News (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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