Idaho senator pleads guilty to disorderly conduct
Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:30PM EDT
By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator confirmed on Monday that he
pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct
after he was arrested at a Minnesota airport.
Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in June by a plainclothes police
officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in the men's public
toilet at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Capitol
Hill newspaper Roll Call reported.
In a carefully worded statement, Craig made no mention of the incident
that prompted his arrest or the charges brought against him.
"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were
misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate
conduct," Craig said in a statement.
"I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In
hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this
matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
Craig pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct on August 8 and
paid more than $500 in fines and fees. He also was given one year of
probation, Roll Call reported.
According to the police report, Craig entered a bathroom stall next to
the investigator, placed his bag against the front of the door and
tapped his foot in a signal commonly used to try to pick up men in
"I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd
conduct," Roll Call wrote, quoting the investigator in the police
Craig, a married father of three, is in his third term and up for
re-election next year. He is a former chairman of the Republican Policy
Committee, the No. 4 leadership position in the Senate.
With a close margin, Democrats effectively have a 51-49 majority in the
In a June 2006 Senate vote, Craig voted in favor of an amendment to the
Constitution to define marriage in the United States as a union between
one man and one woman. The amendment was defeated by one vote.
A gay rights activist claimed in a Web log in October last year that
Craig had had several gay relationships. The senator's office denied it,
telling the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Washington that the
allegations were "completely ridiculous" and had "no basis in fact."