WASHINGTON: Dittus Communications has hired Tom Squitieri, a long-time reporter for USA Today, to serve as senior media advisor for the Washington, DC-based firm.
Squitieri resigned from USA Today after an internal investigation found that he lifted quotations for a March 28 story from another newspaper without attribution.
During his 16 years at the newspaper, Squitieri covered the Pentagon, foreign conflicts, and national politics.
He has been assigned to Dittus' public affairs division, but will be "cross-pollinating" with other teams at the firm, he said.
Squitieri said the facts in his contested USA Today story about the Army falling behind in ordering armored Humvees for Iraq remain "solid and untouchable."
Furthermore, Squitieri said that he still believes he used proper attribution in the story.
"They make the rules, and I left," he said. "Others continue to do what I did at the paper today and have done it before, as at other newspapers and television stations."
Dittus didn't have any second thoughts about hiring Squitieri, said VP Stacey Morton.
"He is so well-respected within the industry and the journalism community," she said. "We had no doubt that he would bring tremendous talent and expertise to our team."