TribLIVE

| Politics


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

FEC: Ex-senator Larry Craig must pay $140K fine

By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

BOISE — Federal election regulators want former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to pay $140,000 in fines and return nearly $217,000 from his campaign, arguing that he misused the money to fund his legal defense for his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting.

The Federal Election Commission proposed the penalties this week in filings to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C. In March, Jackson refused to dismiss the FEC's lawsuit against Craig alleging he illegally tapped campaign funds.

The Idaho Republican has been fighting the FEC's demands for more than a year. He has argued that his stop at the airport bathroom in Minneapolis fell under his official duties as a senator because he was traveling between Idaho and Washington for work; therefore, the legal fees could be paid with campaign cash.

The FEC argues that Craig unjustly enriched himself by siphoning money from his campaign, rather than his personal bank accounts, to pay for lawyers in the case. Misusing campaign money for an illegitimate purpose is not unlike fraud, commission lawyers wrote.

Craig should be “required to pay a substantial civil penalty to punish this violation and deter others,” wrote Kevin P. Hancock, the FEC's lawyer.

Craig didn't return phone calls or emails seeking comment.

The senator was arrested on June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The officer said Craig tapped his foot and signaled under a stall divider that he wanted sex.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a fine. Once his arrest became public, Craig tried unsuccessfully to reverse his conviction and racked up substantial legal fees that he satisfied by tapping his campaign accounts.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers to retire Joe Greene’s jersey number
  2. Pirates’ Alvarez continues to sit, work on throwing woes
  3. Lenders could move against Anchor Hocking as extension expires
  4. Pittsburgh braces for waves of marches, demonstrations this week
  5. Starkey: Would one big move kill Pirates’ future?
  6. Temple dumps SAT, ACT scores from application process
  7. Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
  8. Western Pa. commission pitches $4.7 billion wish list to state
  9. 6 cited for trespassing on UPMC property at union rally
  10. Pirates inquire about Red Sox LHP Lester
  11. Natrona Heights woman burned in trailer fire
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.