McInnis: I knew nothing about Fischer’s past problems

Embattled GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said he didn’t know anything about why Rolly Fischer retired from the Colorado River Water Conservation District in 1996.

At the same time, though, McInnis said the man he hired in 2005 and 2006 to do research for him for a series of water articles for the Hasan Family Foundation was an old friend whom he’s known for years.

“Rolly is a friend,” McInnis told The Daily Sentinel on Tuesday. “The material I got sounded just like Rolly’s. I don’t know anything about that (why he left the district). The fact is, no matter what Rolly did on this research stuff, I should have caught it.”

The two are embroiled in a controversy involving plagiarism of work originally written by now Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs in some of the articles. The foundation paid McInnis $300,000 to write them a year after he left Congress, and speak on water issues around the state.

McInnis has admitted that the work should have credited Hobbs, and said he was sorry about the matter and would “discuss” returning at least some of the money the foundation paid him.

In his responses to the matter, first reported by the Denver Post, McInnis blamed Fischer for the errors, though he later took the blame for not editing his work.

In a story in the Glenwood Post Independent, Fischer put the blame on McInnis, saying, “Scott’s responsible for it.”

In a follow up story today, the Post’s Karen Crummy reported there may be other example of plagiarism while McInnis was in Congress. In a related story, the paper also reported the foundation wants the money back.

(Story posted July 14, 2010 at 11:00 am)


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