Tuesday, December 9, 2008
You all remember Idahos Sen Larry Craig, the one who was caught in an airport mens roon soliciting illicet sex and the one who was blocking and stalling all our anti-slaughter bills? He finally gets his "in the end."
Hot News frum Big-Mouth Broad Casting; Dec. 9, 2008
Larry Craig's statement
Idaho Senator Larry Craig issued the following statement in reaction to today’s ruling of the Minnesota Court of Appeals:
“I am extremely disappointed by the action of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. I disagree with their conclusion and remain steadfast in my belief that nothing criminal or improper occurred at the Minneapolis airport. I maintain my innocence, and currently my attorneys and I are reviewing the decision and looking into the possibility of appealing. I would like to thank all of those who have continued to support me and my family throughout this difficult time.”
By STEVE KARNOWSKI - AP
Edition Date: 12/09/08
MINNEAPOLIS — Idaho Sen. Larry Craig on Tuesday lost his latest attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in a Minneapolis airport bathroom sex sting case, but said he’s considering another appeal.
A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected the Republican’s bid to toss out his disorderly conduct conviction.
Craig was arrested June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer who was conducting a sting operation against men cruising for gay sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The senator quietly pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and paid a fine, but changed his mind after word of his arrest became public.
The appeals panel said in a 10-page opinion that Craig failed to show that the district court judge abused his discretion by denying his petition to withdraw his plea. The opinion also said Craig failed to show that the state’s disorderly conduct law was unconstitutionally broad.
Craig said he was considering an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
“I am extremely disappointed by the action of the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” Craig said in a statement. “I disagree with their conclusion and remain steadfast in my belief that nothing criminal or improper occurred at the Minneapolis airport. I maintain my innocence and currently my attorneys and I are reviewing the decision and looking into the possibility of appealing.”
His attorney, Billy Martin, said he was disappointed with the ruling.
Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs the airport, said the appellate decision again confirms that Craig knew what he was doing when he entered his plea. He said the commission hopes that’s the end of the case.
After the story of his arrest broke in August 2007, Craig publicly insisted he was innocent and that he was not gay. He said he would resign from the Senate, but he changed his mind about that, too, and vowed to fight to clear his name.
Craig was unable to persuade Hennepin County District Judge Charles Porter to allow him to withdraw his plea. Porter ruled in October 2007 the plea was “accurate, voluntary and intelligent” and that it was supported by the evidence.
So the senator turned to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, a move legal experts had said was unlikely to succeed.
Martin told the three-judge appeals panel this September that the police officer misconstrued Craig’s foot-tapping, hand movements and other conduct. He said there was insufficient evidence for any judge to find Craig guilty.
The American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in on Craig’s behalf, arguing in an amicus brief that the state’s disorderly conduct law was unconstitutional.
Prosecutors, however, insisted his plea was legally binding.
Craig lost several GOP leadership positions in the wake of the scandal, and the Senate Ethics Committee said in February that Craig had brought discredit to the Senate. The committee members said they believed he was guilty, and that his attempt to withdraw his plea was just an effort to evade the legal consequences of his own actions.
He did not seek re-election in last month’s election for the seat he has held for 18 years. He will be replaced in January by Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, a Republican.