Scott McInnis: Hasan Foundation Critical of Plagiarism Response
Looks like it might be curtains for Scott McInnis who's been caught plagiarizing while serving as a $300,000 fellow in 2005 to 2006 for the Hasan Foundation. McInnis' explanation: he blames his research assistant.
McInnis said he paid Rolly Fischer, a Glenwood Springs engineer, to help him with the articles and Fischer was responsible for the content that was plagiarized.
The Hasan foundation responds, refuting his "rough draft" explanation and expressing surprise at the research assistant disclosure, since McInnis' wasn't supposed to be using one [More...]:
In light of the accusations against Scott McInnis regarding plagiarism of articles to the Hasan Family Foundation, I am shocked, angry and disappointed. Any work related to the fellowship that Mr. McInnis submitted was always represented as final. At no time, whatsoever, did Mr. McInnis communicate that any of the work were "rough drafts." Any representation that they were submitted to the Foundation as "rough drafts" is absolutely incorrect.
In addition, there were never discussions nor any knowledge by the Foundation that Mr. McInnis was working with a "research advisor." If indeed Mr. McInnis was working with a "research advisor," it was never brought to our attention, nor authorized. The work that the Foundation hired Mr. McInnis to do was to be done solely by Mr. McInnis, and not in concert with anyone else...[a]ll work was represented to be original and final. We will conduct an independent, internal investigation and if the allegations are proven to be true, we will demand Mr. McInnis return all monies paid to him by the Foundation.
The Hasan Foundation was not happy with his work, and declined to renew the fellowship.
However, after McInnis took an additional full-time job with Hogan & Hartson, Hasan said it became apparent he wasn’t doing the work the foundation had expected....In 2006, when it came time to consider renewing McInnis' fellowship, Hasan said the former congressman's job performance made the foundation's decision an easy one.
"The feeling was, if he did a good job, we would review it and extend it for another year or two," Hasan said. "After two years, Scott called and asked if it would be extended. I said, 'In good faith, I cannot recommend that to the foundation board.'" The fellowship terminated after running out its original period, Hasan said.
Back to Rolly Fischer. He's no research assistant, he headed up the Colorado River Water Conservation District for 28 years. Here he is commenting on water at a panel with President Jimmy Carter in 1977. President Carter says, "I might point out that Rolly Fischer is the secretary of engineering of the Colorado Water Conservation District and an acknowledged expert on Western Slope water."
What does Mr. Fischer have to say? Not much.
“Scott's responsible for it,” stated Fisher, an engineer who worked for the Colorado River Water Conservation for, when asked whether he was responsible for articles attributed to McInnis.
Beyond that, Fisher said flatly, “I have nothing to say.”
"This is a guy I've known all my life," McInnis told Fox 31 in Denver. "He…was head of the water district. I think a reasonable person would have relied on that; and I think Rollie felt, whatever, that he thought it was in the public domain, he wasn't required to footnote the thing."
"The fortunate thing is it's a mistake, we discovered it, nothing was ever published on it, and it can be corrected," McInnis continued. "It's serious, but this isn't the end of the world."
No, it's not the end of the world. But it could be the end of his run for Governor.
What really happened? If I had to speculate, I'd say McInnis called Fischer as an adviser, not a research assistant; Fischer sent him material that might be helpful, including Hobbs' article; and that was the end of his involvement. McInnis says Fischer is willing to accept responsibility. But for what? Sending him the Hobbs article to give him ideas for his own, or drafting a plagiarized article. I'll bet it's the former, and Fischer doesn't cop to plagiarizing. At most I'll bet he says he sent McIniss the article and may not have have written the author's name on it, so maybe McInnis thought Fischer had written it. But considering Fischer is an expert and not a research assistant, wouldn't McInniss still be a plagiarizer? Does it make a difference whether it was Fischer or Hobbs he plagiarized? He knew the article(s) wasn't his own.
What else will people start looking at? In 2005, the Pueblo Chieftain noted:
McInnis is the former chairman of the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health and wrote the Healthy Forest Restoration Act which President Bush signed last year. ...
McInnis seems pretty tone deaf for a politician, to say this is no big deal. That misjudgment may end up being a bigger problem for him than the plagiarism.
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