Ex-senator who pleaded guilty in sex sting loses appeal
WASHINGTON -- Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig improperly used campaign funds to pay for his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
The ruling upheld a lower court decision that said Craig must reimburse the government $197,535 and pay a civil penalty of $45,000 for violating federal election laws.
Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in 2007 after an undercover police officer said the lawmaker tapped his foot to signal under the bathroom stall that he wanted sex.
The senator quietly pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and paid a fine. But after news of the incident leaked, Craig insisted his actions were misconstrued and said he was not gay. He began a prolonged and ultimately unsuccessful legal fight to reverse his plea using money from campaign accounts.