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Robert "Rocky" Scott Resigns From McWhinney
Local Media Reports Read Like Company Newsletters by Praising Scott
and not asking any tough questions
McWhinney brothers
Chad (left) and Troy (right) watch Loveland City
Council meeting on July 21, 2009.
Loveland -- August 11, 2009

Reporting Spin As Fact
On July 29, 2009 The Loveland Connection ran a story entitled “Prominent McWhinney figure to leave company.”  It
was about a guy named Rocky who came to Loveland to help the community and decided in early June (days after
Maury Dobbie of the NCEDC resigned) to inform his employer he was moving on to better opportunities –despite not
having found a new job.

In fact, his real name is Robert K. Scott and Rocky is only a nickname.  He doesn’t live in Loveland as the Loveland
Connection article implies but instead lives in downtown Ft. Collins.   His time at McWhinney is hardly the happy
success story one would understand from the Loveland Connection.  Instead, the last two years of his four year stint at
McWhinney were fraught with disappointment including the failed Grand Station development, ethics complaints at the
NCEDC, increasing financial problems for McWhinney’s Metro District and significant employee lay-offs in early 2009.

The Loveland Connection article stated, “Moving to Loveland, Scott brought that reputation north…”  Again, Scott did
not reside in Loveland while working for McWhinney but instead prefers Old Town Ft. Collins.

The story ended by crediting Scott with recently bringing a proposal to Loveland’s City Council to reduce development
fees for a limited period of time to stimulate building and help McWhinney build a 300 unit apartment complex.

In fact, Scott’s proposal was twice rejected by Loveland’s City Council and almost ended in failure.  It was not until  
the McWhinney brothers, Troy and Chad, re-introduced the proposal in person at a July 21, 2009 Loveland City
Council meeting that it won approval.  Scott was conspicuously absent from that third meeting and announced soon
afterwards he was leaving McWhinney.

Scott’s Role At McWhinney
Scott was recruited to serve as the President of McWhinney’s Centerra development in 2005 but was later given the
title of “
Principal, Strategy and Business Development.”  

The audit of McWhinney’s 2008 Centerra Metro District financial statements reports, “Liabilities exceed assets by
$43,940,425.”  According to the management discussion of the financial statements, “total net assets decreased by
$9,423,915.  A significant portion of this decrease is attributable to the District’s refunding of the 2004 Bonds to issue
2008 Bonds.”  Like a homeowner in an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), McWhinney’s costly refinancing of the
Centerra Metro District public debt in 2008 appears to be an effort to simply further delay the pain of repaying the
principle of $112,000,000 public debt that now stretches out until 2029.
click here to download a copy of the audit

Robert ‘Rocky’ Scott cannot be blamed for Centerra’s financial difficulties as he was removed (at least publicly) from
his chief executive role at Centerra more than a year ago.  His role recently appeared to be more in public outreach,
government relations, political lobbying and other community activities.  Whether his salary was being covered by the
money McWhinney was pulling out of the Centerra Metro District cannot be independently verified at this time as those
records have not been released to the public.  

However, Scott's departure right when such funds are running dry certainly invites questions.  According to the 2008
audit, Centerra will require nearly $2 million in operating capital this year just to maintain landscaping and cover the
administrative costs of running the Metro District.  Centerra Metro District doesn't have an office or employees but
instead reimburses McWhinney for providing all administrative services.  The means McWhinney employees may be
engaged in reimbursable "local government" activities on behalf of the taxpayer financed Centerra Metro District at
anytime and than back doing private work from the same office in the same day.

Especially problematic are the political organizing and lobbying activities Scott performed on behalf of McWhinney not
just locally but also on a national level.  In March of 2008 Scott wrote
a letter on McWhinney letterhead denouncing
Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) which he sent to a Florida Tax and Budget Review Commission.  If
these political activities were being conducted while he was being paid from the taxpayer funded Centerra Metro
District it could be a violation of the law.  

A former McWhinney staff member once informed LovelandPolitics that Scott was always trying to improve the
company’s image with the public but concerned Chad McWhinney sometimes by his style of politicking.  One source
also reported Scott had a reputation for being a tough boss and subordinates were reticent to bring bad news to “the
old man” as he was reported to have been called around the office.  In the Colorado business community Scott
generally has a reputation for being especially patient and kind when collaborating with others in community related
efforts.

Scott often boasted about his days working for the NSA (National Security Agency) at Ft. Mead in Maryland after the
end of WWII.  His intelligence background may also explain his appetite for political intrigue and cloak and dagger
tricks he may have pulled in local elections.


Political Dirty Tricks
Scapegoat or dirty trickster?

When asked about clandestine political contributions to local candidates during a community forum back in August of
2006, Chad McWhinney turned towards Scott and asked for an explanation.  
McWhinney said he left these issues to
“Rocky” but went on to argue that multiple contributions to a single candidate by different McWhinney entities could
have been accidental.

Current Loveland Mayor Gene Pielin and other local officials were recipients of considerable financial contributions
from McWhinney for their first campaigns for public office.  A not so clever attempt to hide these large contributions
involved breaking the McWhinney money into smaller amounts of $250 or less and reporting a multitude of different
McWhinney owned entities (Limited Liability Companies) as the contributors.  Had there been more contributors the
scheme may have succeeded but instead it raised suspicion when so many contributors all shared the same office
address in Loveland according to Colorado Secretary of State records which happened to also be the McWhinney's
headquarters.

Later, when an initiative to limit clandestine financial contributions to local candidates from the same source, Measure
2C was placed on Loveland’s ballot, McWhinney is said to have ordered Scott to stand down and not get involved.  
According to one source, Chad McWhinney felt Scott’s political tactics were a liability that created the community
backlash against McWhinney’s influence in City Hall.  Scott was also an advocate of direct and public dialogue which
Chad and especially Troy McWhinney are said to dislike.  Constant comparisons to Wal-Mart and other companies
that have confronted their negative community images head-on were a favorite topic for Scott when discussing
community relations with Chad McWhinney and other colleagues.

Scott Reported to be Bitter Over Time At McWhinney
Another source close to Scott claims Scott is bitter at being evaluated and possibly removed from his position over
community relations failures.  Scott is said to argue in private that he was only “filling that spot” until they found
somebody better to do that job.  Scott was hired on as a “chief executive,” he is said to argue, and unhappy with being
evaluated on his performance for a job he was not originally recruited to perform.

Some saw Scott as a decent man trying to accomplish a fool’s errand at McWhinney by telling various local officials
contradictory and changing stories as to why McWhinney required more and more government subsidies (see I-25/34
story).  While Scott’s contributions to the NCEDC are clear, what exactly McWhinney gained as a result of Scott’s
time serving on the board is another question that is harder to answer.

What is clear is that both Maury Dobbies, former President and CEO of the NCEDC and Robert “Rocky” Scott had
many different issues surrounding their tenures in very public positions involving business in Northern Colorado.

What is unfortunate is that local media decided to report only the carefully prepared statements and news releases
presented to the media instead of researching independently what was going on in those organizations at the time of
their departures.
Robert K. Scott known by the nick-name "Rocky"
participates in a community forum for McWhinney
Northwestern University
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