Steve Meyers of Poynter is now reporting that Jeff Staher has been suspended “indefinitely” until the paper can conduct an exhaustive investigation.
On a related note, Michael Cavna has talked to Robert Mankoff who is giving Jeff the benefit of the doubt.
“My guess is Stahler came up with the idea completely independently,” Mankoff told Comic Riffs. “I see things like this every week with different cartoonists submitting almost identical cartoons. Sometimes we’ve been on the other end of this being accused of plagiarism, when I know the cartoonist would never do that.
“It’s also possible that Stahler saw the Sipress cartoon and forgot completely about it and then came up with the idea thinking it was his. That also has happened,” Mankoff continued Monday. “Usually when it does, a little bell goes off warning you something is wrong – but not always.”