The Kansas City Star dismissed longtime employee and columnist Steve Penn on Tuesday for using material that wasn’t his and representing it as his own work.
Penn, 53, joined The Star in July 1980 and became a metro columnist in 2000. His column sought out human interest stories among the people and places of Kansas City.
In the normal editing process and a follow-up review, it was discovered that Penn had lifted material from press releases verbatim, in some cases presenting others’ conclusions and opinions as his own and without attribution. Editors found more than a dozen examples in Penn’s columns dating back to 2008.