CARLISLE, Pa., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army War College announced its decision to revoke the status of Sen. John Walsh as a graduate following a plagiarism scandal that forced the Montana Democrat from his bid for re-election.
In a statement released by his office Friday, Walsh apologized for plagiarizing the final paper for his master's degree in 2007 and defended his record as a soldier.
"Though I disagree with the findings made by the War College, I accept its decision with great humility and respect for the U.S. Military," Walsh said. "I apologize to all Montanans for the plagiarism in my 2007 paper, and I am prepared to live with its consequences. I may not be a scholar but I am proud to have been a soldier who has served Montana and this great nation for 33 years in uniform."
The War College convened a review of Walsh's work as a student in July, after a New York Times investigation found he had copied nearly his entire paper from numerous other sources.
Before becoming a senator, Walsh served more than three decades in the Army and National Guard, before he was admitted to the War College at the age of 46. He appeared to have benefited directly from the plagiarized paper, earning praise and a promotion to adjutant general of Montana's National Guard in 2008.
After a promotion to brigadier general and a stint as the state's lieutenant governor, he was tapped in February by Gov. Steve Bullock to replace Sen. Max Baucus when Baucus became the ambassador to China.
In his statement Friday, Walsh said he would not resign his seat.
"As Montanans choose their next U.S. Senator over the next few weeks, I will continue proudly serving this state through the end of this term," he said. "I look forward to fighting for veterans and their families. I look forward to doing all we can for the small businesses that call our state home. I will keep fighting for the freedom of choice and equal pay for women, and for access to our public lands."
In August, state Democrats tapped freshman state legislator Amanda Curtis for the unenviable job of running in Walsh's place. Polls show Curtis trailing Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., by 20 points ahead of November's election.