THE BLOG

Famous Colorado Plagiarist Back in Office

02/12/2015 11:54 am ET | Updated Apr 14, 2015

It appears that the entire front-range media missed one of the most exciting election stories of 2014: the resurrection of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis!

McInnis won a seat in November on the Mesa Country Board of Commissioners.

Back in 2010, McInnis was caught by The Denver Post for plagiarizing portions of short articles he wrote on Colorado water issues, commissioned for $350,000 from the Hasan Foundation.

The price tag for the writing assignment, titled "Musings on Water by Scott McInnis," prompted Post columnist Ed Quillen to write that he wanted to engage McInnis as "my literary agent, since he knows how to cut some sweet deals."

He blamed his water-article plagiarism on his ghost writer, Rolly Fisher, but McInnis eventually took some measure of responsibility for it.

Last year, during his county-commissioner race, McInnis washed his hands of any wrong-doing for the plagiarism, telling the Grand Junction Sentinel he regretted admitting to any mistakes about the plagiarism.

"I've used ghost writers my whole career. I would have said I didn't make the mistake. I wasn't dishonest then and I'm not dishonest now."

If you call McInnis' office, you get a message saying:

"Thank you for contacting commissioner Scott McInnis. Although he is unavailable to take your call, your call is important. Please leave your name, phone number, and a brief message. Thank you."

A quick check revealed that the words in this phone message (except the name "Scott McInnis") were plagiarized. But the message was delivered in a woman's voice, possibly McInnis' ghost writer, whom McInnis would probably hold responsible for the phone-message plagiarism, if asked.

Barring any recalls for un-commissioner-like behavior, which may or may not include plagiarism, he'll serve until 2019.