Larry Craig drops appeals

Posted on 08 Jan 2009 at 7:20pm
By Steve Karnowski Associated Press

Attorney for former senator from Idaho says Minnesota Supreme Court not likely to take case; decision ends legal wrangling over ’07 arrest


Former Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in an airport restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by an undercover officer conducting a sting operation against men cruising for sex.

MINNEAPOLIS – Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has reached the end of the road in his effort to reverse his conviction in an airport bathroom sex sting, one of his lawyers said Thursday, Jan. 8.

Attorney Tom Kelly said Craig had decided against asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to void the conviction. The decision means the legal wrangling in the case is over.

"We’ve concluded that the Supreme Court would not accept this for review," Kelly said. "It would be a futile exercise."

Thursday was the 30-day deadline for Craig to ask the high court to review a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision that went against him. The Supreme Court typically grants only about 25 percent to 30 percent of those requests, according to court figures.

The Idaho Republican was arrested June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer conducting a sting operation against men cruising for sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The senator quietly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a fine, but changed his mind after word of his arrest later became public.

As his political career disintegrated, Craig insisted he was innocent and that he was not gay. He said the officer had misconstrued his foot-tapping actions in the airport bathroom.

Last month, the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Craig’s bid to withdraw his guilty plea. It affirmed a lower court decision that his plea was "accurate, voluntary and intelligent" and that it was supported by the evidence.

Craig did not seek re-election in November for the seat he had held for 18 years. He was succeeded Tuesday, Jan. 6 by political veteran Jim Risch, a Republican former lieutenant governor, governor and state senator.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 9, 2009.

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