Craig Ends Effort to Retract Guilty Plea

Posted January 8, 2009 at 1:18pm

Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is dropping his effort to retract his guilty plea stemming from his 2007 arrest in a sex-sting operation at the Minneapolis airport, Reuters reported on Thursday. After the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Craig’s attempts to reverse his plea in December, the Idahoan said he was contemplating an appeal to the state’s highest court. But Craig attorney Thomas Kelly told Reuters on Monday that the former Senator would drop his long-running effort to alter his plea, stating “the case did not raise significant or novel issues.” Craig attorney Bill Martin argued before the appellate court in September that Craig should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, questioning evidence in the case as well as the statute under which Craig was charged with the misdemeanor offense of disorderly conduct. A three-judge panel rejected those arguments. At the time of his arrest in June 2007, Craig denied to the arresting officer that he had attempted to solicit sex in a men’s airport bathroom. Nonetheless, Craig pleaded guilty two months later to a misdemeanor charge and sought to change his plea in August 2007 only after Roll Call published news of his arrest and conviction. Craig did not run for re-election in 2008.