Rep. Sanford Bishop says he wasn't involved in awarding scholarships

Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop, whose district includes Columbus, says he was not involved in awarding scholarships from the nonprofit Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to his stepdaughter and niece.

Bishop told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that a group of lawmaker spouses is the driving force behind the awards. The foundation is closely tied to the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Democratic lawmaker said it's likely his wife, Columbus Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop, who was involved in the selection process. She formerly led the spouses' group. Bishop has talked to his wife about the selections, but he wouldn't say what she told him.

The scholarships have emerged as a campaign issue as Bishop runs for re-election against Republican Mike Keown (COW'-en) in southwest Georgia. Bishop refunded the foundation the costs of the scholarships to his family members.