Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis admitted plagiarizing an essay that a Colorado foundation paid him to write. In 2004, the Hasan Family Foundation of Pueblo hired former Colorado Congressman McInnis for a two-year fellowship and asked him to write a series of essays about water policy. The Foundation paid McInnis $300,000. When Colorado journalists raised questions about McInnis' writings in early July, McInnis admitted plagiarizing an essay he wrote for the Foundation from a 20-year-old work created by Gregory Hobbs, who is now a Colorado state Supreme Court Justice. McInnis issued a statement calling the plagiarism a "mistake," and the Hasan Foundation demanded McInnis return the $300,000 they paid him. McInnis agreed to pay the money back, hoping this would help "put the matter behind us." The Foundation issued a statement saying McInnis performed "only a fraction of the work he was obligated to perform under the terms of his fellowship," and after an internal review found that " ... of the little work that [McInnis] did, he has admitted it was neither fully completely by him, nor fully original." McInnis issued a statement blaming the plagiarism on a research assistant, Rollie Fischer, who is now 82 years old. Fischer told a Denver TV station that the McInnis campaign tried to force him to sign a statement taking blame for the plagiarism. Three of McInnis' campaign staffers have resigned since the plagiarism issue emerged.
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