McInnis makes a deal to repay Hasan foundation
The Associated Press
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado – Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis has reached a settlement to repay the Hasan Family Foundation over allegations he gave the group a plagiarized report on water rights as part of a $300,000 fellowship.
McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy said the former Republican congressman signed the agreement Friday. The terms were not disclosed.
Aliya Hasan, daughter of foundation chairwoman Seeme Hasan, confirmed that a settlement was reached. She said the family would issue a statement later.
McInnis offered to repay the foundation after it said it wanted its money back, noting that McInnis had admitted some of the work wasn’t his own.
McInnis said a longtime friend and water expert, Rolly Fischer, gave him copies of essays written by a Colorado Supreme Court justice without providing attribution. Fischer has said McInnis is lying, and he refused to sign a letter accepting responsibility.
The issue has dogged McInnis on the campaign trail, with several newspapers demanding he leave the race. McInnis refused, saying he took full responsibility and he would repay the money.
McInnis is facing a tough primary race against GOP candidate Dan Maes, who has had his own campaign problems after he was ordered to pay a $17,500 fine for campaign finance violations. The primary election is Tuesday.
Contributions to McInnis fell by more than half, from $69,000 during the first two weeks of July to $34,000 in the second two weeks after the plagiarism was reported by The Denver Post.
Donations to Maes fell from $22,000 to $18,000 for the same period after Maes paid a $17,500 fine for campaign finance violations that included $44,000 in undocumented mileage reimbursements, claiming he traveled 90,000 miles on his campaign tours.
The allegations prompted former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo to quit the GOP and run for governor on the American Constitution Party ticket. Tancredo said neither Republican candidate has a chance of winning the general election against Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper because of character issues.
Dr. Malik Hasan, who helped establish the foundation, said it was hoping to get recommendations on how to deal with Colorado’s drought when it commissioned the essays from McInnis in 2005.
Hasan said he was disappointed when McInnis took a job in a law firm a month later and turned in reports that were unpublishable, but there was nothing he could do about it because the grant letter did not specify what duties McInnis had to perform to earn the money during the two-year commitment.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.