FEC: Ex-senator Larry Craig must pay $140K fine
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gibonia’s Saad shows off Stanley Cup at 911th Airlift Wing
- Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
- Cuts at Range Resources include layoffs
- Plum High School teacher held for court on charges of intimidation
- Appeals court clears way for class-action lawsuit against PNC
- Youngwood playground found to be in violation of disability act again
- Water Works Road in Sewickley closed for months
- Mon Incline rehab postponed until after Labor Day
- Indiana County man dies when ATV strikes corn crib
- Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
- Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Fattah indicted in racketeering case