McInnis Won't Give Details On Plagiarism Controversy

Republican Candidate Takes Responsibility, Doesn't Describe How It Happened.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis took responsibility for submitting a series of plagiarized articles, but he refused to address contradictions about how it happened and who wrote the copied pieces.

"The buck stops here," he said. "We told our side of the story."

After an appearance here, CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia asked McInnis whether he lied about writing the articles that his researcher, Glenwood Springs resident Rolly Fischer, said he authored for McInnis.

"Did you write the articles or did you," Ferrugia asked.

“It was collaboration,” McInnis said

"(Rolly) said he wrote them," Ferrugia said.

"We told our side last week," McInnis said. "It doesn't matter. I take responsibility... I've accepted full responsibility."

But McInnis refused to explain why Fischer said he did not know the articles were going to be used for a fellowship that paid McInnis $300,000 to produce water rights pieces.

"Did you tell Rolly you were going to put your name on these articles and turn them in?" Ferrugia asked.

"We've accepted full responsibility," McInnis said.

Parts of the articles McInnis submitted were copied from a piece by Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs, but Fischer said he thought he was just providing McInnis research for a possible U.S. Senate race.

The Hasan Family Foundation officials, who paid McInnis $300,000 for a two year fellowship, have said that McInnis was dishonest in dealing with his fellowship and have demanded their money back. McInnis agreed to refund the fellowship money.

Ferrugia asked Fischer last week: “Rolly, is Scott McInnis lying to us?" Fischer hesitated and then said: “Yes.”

Ferrugia asked McInnis about that exchange.

"Rolly said that you lied," Ferrugia said. "Do you agree with him?"

"It doesn't matter, I take responsibility," McInnis said. "It's my mistake."

"But you still blamed Rolly for it," Ferrugia said.

"It's my mistake, it's my mistake," McInnis said.

Last week, Fischer said he was upset that McInnis asked Fischer to sign a letter that said Fischer was taking full responsibility for the plagiarism. Fischer refused to sign it.

"It was my impression Scott was looking for background information," Fischer told Ferrugia, who is the only reporter to interview the 82-year-old former water engineer at length on the controversy.

"Did you know these were to be published somewhere?" Ferrugia asked.

"Absolutely not. This was a private communication between Scott and me. I mean, I knew it was a private communication," said Fischer. "I did not know that he intended to submit that as his personal work."

Since the interview with Fischer aired last week, several McInnis staffers have resigned, but McInnis has said he intends to stay in the race.