Republican activist Shires gets probation, fine in fraud case

Scott Shires, the Republican activist who in 2004 reportedly recruited current U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer to serve on the board of the privately held National Alternative Fuel Foundation (NAFF), was sentenced today to a year of probation and ordered to pay a $3,450 fine on three misdemeanor charges of failing to file corporate tax returns.

“>Scott Shires, the Republican activist who in 2004 reportedly recruited current U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer to serve on the board of the privately held National Alternative Fuel Foundation (NAFF), was sentenced today to a year of probation and ordered to pay a $3,450 fine on three misdemeanor charges of failing to file corporate tax returns.

The sentence was part of a plea deal involving Shires, 55, who testified against his former employer, Bill Orr—who had obtained a $3.2 million federal grant for his company and was found guilty last month of 23 criminal counts, including fraud, failure to file tax returns and making false statements. Orr is scheduled for sentencing in October.
 
Schaffer, a former three-term congressman, served on the board of the National Alternative Fuel Foundation for five months. After today’s federal court ruling, the liberal group Progress Now—which has been hammering on Schaffer for his ties to the case—immediately issued a press release, calling on the Republican U.S. Senate candidate to “explain five contradictions related to his dealings with Scott Shires,” who was also treasurer for Schaffer’s State Board of Education campaign in 2006. 
 
Among the questions Progress Now posed: Why did Schaffer initially deny that he was paid for his service on the National Alternative Fuel Foundation board? (Specifically, Schaffer’s campaign spokesman told the Denver Post on May 30 that the candidate had not been paid for his work; three weeks later he was quoted in the Rocky Mountain News saying he had received $1,500.)
 
In addition, Progress Now wants to know what date Schaffer began his duties on the board; why he resigned; why he later made Shires the treasurer of his State Board of Education campaign; and who secured a $3.6 million federal earmark to fund the National Alternative Fuel Foundation.
 
In press accounts Schaffer has denied any involvement in securing the earmark, or any connection to the criminal case.

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Cara Degette

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