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Without actually ever using the work “plagiarism” today’s Newton TAB editorial criticizes Newton Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman for never actually saying he was sorry for having “lifted phrases” (The TAB’s word choice) without attribution from Gov. Deval Patrick.

But the editorial comes down even harder on  School Committee Chairman Hills and for the way he has overseen the controversy.

When a teacher came to Hills in late June with the allegation School Superintendent David Fleishman had lifted phrases from a speech given by Gov. Deval Patrick at Boston University without citing his source, the school committee acted like the worst of corporate boards – hiding what they knew while they met secretly three times, apparently to discuss damage control.

There is no evidence the board encouraged Fleishman to come forward, or that he considered doing so. Instead, the school committee apparently circled the wagons to protect their “CEO.”

This is by far the harshest criticism of  an elected official we’ve seen in the TAB since Emily Costello became editor in 2012.   After you’ve read it. come back here and discuss.