Scott McInnis Accused Of Plagiarism

Republican Candidate For Governor Paid $300K For Plagiarized Work

The campaign for Scott McInnis has admitted that substantial sections of an article he wrote on water rights was copied from a previously published work, the CALL7 Investigators have learned.

A spokesman for McInnis, a Republican candidate for governor, claimed a research advisor provided the content, but in the end, the work was submitted for publication under McInnis' name.

The article was part of a series McInnis wrote for the Hasan Family Foundation, for which he was paid $300,000 over two years. Records show Hasan family members have historically contributed large amounts to the Republican Party.

The CALL7 Investigators found a number of passages where language in McInnis' "Musings on Water" was nearly identical to that of a 1984 article written by Gregory Hobbs, who is now a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. Hobbs' article appeared in "Colorado Water Rights," published by the Colorado Water Congress.

For example, in his article, McInnis wrote, "Significantly, the operation of Green Mountain was revised by the Bureau of Reclamation on December 22, 1983, holding 66,000 acre feet of Green Mountain water free of charge for western slope rights perfected as for 1977..."

Eleven years earlier, Hobbs wrote, "On December 22, 1983, the Bureau of Reclamation published a revised set of operating criteria for Green Mountain Reservoir, which preserves 66,000 acre-feet of Green Mountain water free of charge to meet water rights in western Colorado which were prefected as of 1977..."

Another example: McInnis wrote, “The sub district asserted that the original C-BT anticipated diversions of the 310,000 acre feet per year..."

Hobbs 1984 article read, "The Subdistrict asserted that because of the CBT project had anticipated 310,000 acre-feet of annual...”

"Justice Hobbs should have been cited. It is regrettable. It’s inappropriate,” said McInnis spokesman, Sean Duffy, on Monday.

Duffy told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia that a research advisor provided the content for McInnis' article.

According to Duffy, the advisor was the head of the Colorado River Water Conservation District for many years.

Duffy continued, "We are looking at what other work [he] provided.”

Ferrugia tried to contact the research advisor to verify Duffy's story, but he could not be reached.

Ferrugia asked Duffy if the candidate had apologized to Justice Hobbs and Duffy said McInnis, "Put in a call to Justice Hobbs chambers today, unfortunately it was after the office closed."

"There is no dispute that it should have been attributed," said Duffy.

In one of the more substantial sections, McInnis wrote, "True to form in 1977, Denver refused to release 28,600 acre feet of water in Dillon it owed to Green Mountain, claiming it was obligated to pay power interference only. Hence, it could deprive senior western Colorado water users, asserting a Denver preference. But again the United States, the Colorado River Water Conservation District and the Northern Colorado Water COnservancy District prevailed over Denver's attempt to keep Green Mountain water. The Court Said:

"Denver cannot, at this late date, circumvent the rights afforded the participants In the stipulation incorporated into the 1955 decree. We cannot overlook or disregard stipulations which are aboslute and unequivocal."

In another venue the west slope continued to fight for and protect Green Mountain. In the 1970's there was a dispute between the west slope represented by the Colorado River Water Conservation District and a municipal sub district of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District over the sub district's proposed Windy Gap Project."

Compare that to Hobbs article reading, "Denver attempted once again to relieve itself of the Green Mountain right. It refused in 1977 to release 28.622 acre feet of water in Dillon belonging to Green Mountain. Denver claimed it was obligated only to pay power interference and could deprive western Colorado water users of their water in favor of an asserted Denver domestic preference. Again, the United States, the Colorado River District and the Northern District repelled Denver's attempt to gain the use of Green Mountain waters. The Court said that:

Denver cannot, at this late date, circumvent the rights afforded the participants to the stipulation incorporated into the 1955 decree. We cannot overlook or disregard stipulations which are absolute and unequivocal."

In the 1970s, a dispute arose between the Colorado River District and the Municipal Subdistrict of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District over the Subdistrict's proposed Windy Gap Project."

Also, from the article written by McInnis were these passages, "The municipal sub district agreed to the April 30, 1980 Windy Gap Settlement to provide 'compensatory storage' for the west slope not to exceed $10 million out of pocket expense escalated or de-escalated based on a construction index.

If Green Mountain does not fill from the run off combined with Dillon by passes, the Bureau tells Denver it shall release from Dillon to fill Green Mountain. The releases are to be made on a one for one basis and can be made from Denver’s William Fork Reservoir. The need to meet the call of the Grand Valley Irrigation Project call draws Green Mountain Down from mid-July through September."

Here is what Hobbs wrote, "The municipal water users of northeastern Colorado agreed, in the April 30, 1980 Windy Gap settlement agreement to provide 'compensatory storage' for the western slope not to exceed an out-of-pocket non-reimbursable cost of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) escalated or de-escalated according to a construction cost index.

Fill of 52,000 acre foot replacement pool has first priority. If the reservoir does not fill from the Gore Range runoff and Dillon by-passes, the Bureau informs Denver that it must release sufficient water from Dillon to fill Green Mountain … if waters are available in Williams Fork reservoir on a one-for-one replacement basis. By mid-July, Green Mountain fills and then is drawn down considerably during mid-July through September in order to heed the Grand Valley irrigation call."