"She stole data and lied in a publication."
Jackie Burns is the director of two major UF research facilities - the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred and the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee - and oversees all citrus-related research for the university. Both facilities are part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), one of UF's largest academic subsidiaries.
"In a publication, she reported data from our lab as her own data without our knowledge, and additionally she stated she and her (co-author) did experiments that they did not do," William Dawson, a plant pathologist at the Lake Alfred center, wrote in an August email to UF's chief auditor, Brian Mikell. "She stole data and lied in a publication."
The topic of intellectual property arose:
Dawson said Wednesday that no top UF official has ever spoken with him concerning his intellectual-property theft allegations against Burns.
Dawson said he didn't accept Burns' explanation that she didn't intend to steal his data, and he maintained the problem went beyond her using his plants.
Part of the issue:
At the time, Burns needed Dawson's help because the U.S. Department of Agriculture had classified greening as a "select agent." That meant licenses and special facilities were required to handle infected material. The USDA had licensed Dawson, but not Burns, to handle select agents.