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Former Sen. Craig argues proposed FEC penalties are ‘harsh’ and ‘unjustified’

Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is protesting the FEC's proposed $360,000 in fines and restitution for tapping campaign accounts for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting, calling the penalties "harsh" and "unjustified," the AP reports. Craig also argues that he doesn't have the financial resources to pay, and that he and his lawyers acted in good faith, having genuinely thought using the campaign money was appropriate because they concluded other lawmakers had done it in the past. Craig also disputed that the hefty fine would deter other lawmakers from acting as he did. "Any deterrent effect has already been achieved," wrote his lawyer, Andrew Herman. "The professional and personal consequences of Senator Craig's guilty plea have been severe … To argue that without a harsh penalty a party might want to duplicate this experience ignores these costs." Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

 

Saudi Arabian women arrested over driving protest

Automotive news from Saudi Arabia this weekend serves as a stark reminder feminine equality is a bit behind the times there.  Saudi police arrested 12 women and gave fines to six other ladies for purposely ignoring the country’s ban on female driving.   

Craig gets more time to fight FEC fines in bathroom arrest case

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Ex-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig won more time to file court paperwork as he fights federal election regulators who contend he misused campaign funds to defend himself following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. A judge in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Thursday gave Craig until Nov. 13 to file documents opposing the Federal Election Commission's proposal he be forced to pay $140,000 in fines and return $217,000 to his campaign accounts. Previously, Craig's documents were due by Wednesday. Craig contends it was legal to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign supporters to support his legal defense in the 2007 case. He claims it was part of official business when he was arrested while traveling from Idaho to his Senate job in Washington, D.C.

Craig wants more time to fight FEC fines

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig says he needs more time in his bid to fight off demands by federal election regulators he pay $140,000 in fines and return $217,000 to his campaign that he'd used for his legal defense after his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. Craig filed the documents late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Ordinarily, the Idaho Republican would have until just the end of this month to formally oppose the Federal Election Commission's proposed penalties against him for allegedly misusing campaign cash. Now, however, Craig is asking U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson for another two weeks to file paperwork he hopes will help him avoid stiff financial penalties. In Tuesday's filing, Craig says the FEC doesn't object to the delay.

WSU freshman football player arrested

From Berkely — A Washington State University football player appeared in a Whitman County court on Friday at 3 p.m. after he was arrested by campus police on Thursday evening. Freshman defensive lineman Emmitt Su’a-Kalio faces charges of second-degree assault stemming from aTuesday morning altercation.

 WSU officials would not comment except to say that the matter would be handled internally by the team. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Druffel now has until Tuesday afternoon to decide whether or not to keep the pretrial release conditions that were imposed by the judge on Friday afternoon.

FEC calls for former Sen. Craig to pay ‘significant’ penalty for misuse of campaign funds

Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig should personally have to pay a “significant” civil penalty of $70,000 for his “serious violations” of campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission argues in a recent court filing, in proceedings stemming from Craig’s use of campaign funds to pay legal fees after his 2007 Minnesota airport men’s room arrest. McClatchy News Service reports that FEC attorneys are calling for Craig’s campaign committee also to pay $70,000 in penalties, saying total penalties of $140,000 would have a “real deterrent impact” to keep other politicians from improperly tapping campaign funds for personal purposes.

Craig’s attorneys have argued that the then-senator was “engaged in official, Senate-sponsored travel” at the time of his arrest, when he was returning to Washington, D.C. from Idaho, so the use of the campaign funds wasn’t improper. An undercover officer said Craig solicited him for sex in a restroom that was being patrolled after reports of such encounters; Craig quietly pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, but after news of the arrest and plea surfaced, began an unsuccessful legal fight to withdraw his plea, denied any sexual intentions in the incident and proclaimed that he’s not gay.

Amid extensive national publicity, Craig announced his intent to resign from the Senate, then changed his mind and served out his term, retiring in 2008 after a congressional career that began in 1980; he is now a political and regulatory consultant in Idaho and Washington, D.C. You can read McClatchy’s full report here.

WSU’s Caldwell arrested on May 7

COUGARS

Washington State running back Teondray Caldwell was arrested on May 7 on suspicion of assault and burglary stemming from an April 28 incident at a Pullman residence.

KQQQ 1150 AM in Pullman reported that Caldwell and a group of WSU football players were denied entry to a party, and that Caldwell allegedly struck a man sitting on the porch.

A Pullman Police spokesperson said police responded to a citizen dispute on April 28, but the suspect had left the area when officers arrived and the alleged victims did not want to press charges or assist in the investigation.

But after a series of conversations and interviews, police arrested Caldwell, a sophomore from Los Angeles, on May 7 on suspicion of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

Charges have not been filed. KQQQ reported that Caldwell is due in Whitman County Superior Court on Friday morning, but it’s unclear whether Caldwell will have to appear. A Whitman County clerk told the Spokesman-Review that an order was issued on May 13th exonerating the conditions of Caldwell’s release, meaning he may not have to appear in court tomorrow.

But the clerk also said it’s still possible charges could be filed.

Caldwell rushed for 229 yards as a freshman last season and served as the team’s primary kick returner. A WSU spokesman said coaches will handle the matter internally, as is customary under coach Mike Leach.

Caldwell wrote on his Twitter page (WSU players were apparently allowed back on the site recently): "All these allegations but none of it is true! Don't believe the media. I'm in good hands."

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Indian man arrested for letting 9-year-old son drive his Ferrari

Kids are growing up faster and faster these days, especially when their parents encourage them to do so. Take Mohammed Nisham for example, who was arrested by Indian police this month and charged with endangering the life of a child and allowing a minor to drive. 

The arrest was sparked by a video of his 9-year-old son driving the family Ferrari F430 on public roads with his 7-year-old brother riding shotgun.  When the footage went viral and caused an outrage in India police intervened.  Nisham’s wife doesn’t seem to understand what all the concern is about.    

Fed judge rejects former Sen. Craig’s official duties argument

A federal judge today refused to dismiss a Federal Election Commission lawsuit against former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig for using $217,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting, the Associated Press reports. Craig had argued the use of the funds was appropriate because the incident occurred in the course of his official duties, but U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson found that the charge against Craig didn't relate "to his conduct as a legislator, but only actions undertaken in the privacy and anonymity of a restroom stall." The judge set a scheduling conference in the case for April 26; click below for a full report from AP reporter Frederic J. Frommer in Washington, D.C.

Fed judge to consider whether then-Sen. Craig was on official business during ‘07 airport restroom arrest

The question of whether then-Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was on official business when he was arrested in a Minneapolis airport men's room in 2007 will be taken up by a federal judge this week, McClatchy Newspapers reporter Michael Doyle reports, in a case with far-reaching implications about how campaign dollars can be spent. Craig spent more than $216,000 in campaign funds to pay attorneys, after being charged with disorderly conduct; his attorneys insist he was on official business and so could tap his campaign treasury. Click below for Doyle's full report, via McClathy and the AP.

WSU’s Loftus arrested for alleged tequila theft

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Washington State receiver Drew Loftus was arrested early Friday morning after he allegedly tried to steal two bottles of tequila from the Dissmore's grocery store on North Grand Ave. 

Loftus, 19, was taken to the Pullman Police Department and issued three misdemeanor citations for 3rd-degree theft, minor in possession of alcohol and minor intoxicated in public. He was released upon his signature.

Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said a store employee called the police just before 1 a.m. after observing Loftus shove two bottles of tequila — priced at $21.99 each — into the waistband of his pants. Loftus then grabbed a carton of eggs and proceeded to the checkout counter, where he attempted to pay for the eggs but not the tequila.

Tennant said a Dissmore's employee told Loftus he had noticed the tequila bottles in his pants. Loftus then hurried to place the bottles back on the shelf and ran out the front door, Tennant said, but he was confronted by police in the parking lot.

The eggs were left behind.

Police observed that Loftus was also displaying signs of being intoxicated, which prompted the drunk-in-public charge.

A WSU spokesman said coaches are aware of the situation and will handle it internally. Loftus' status with the team is unclear. Coach Mike Leach is famed for dismissing players who break one of his three cardinal rules — no drug use, no stealing, and no abuse of women.

Senior defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi was dismissed from the team just before fall camp started last season after he allegedly stole a pair of headphones from Wal Mart.

Loftus was also arrested in December of 2011 on a car-prowling charge, according to the Tri-City Herald. He was 18 at the time.

After transferring from Hawaii, Loftus walked on at WSU last season. He appeared in two games as a redshirt freshman and caught one pass for 37 yards.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Ryan Leaf’s arrest came after month-long investigation

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We spent part of the afternoon speaking with the authorities in Great Falls, the result of which is this story about Ryan Leaf's arrest on Friday. Leaf was arrested after a month-long investigation by the Central Montana Drug Task Force, which discovered 28 Oxycodone pills inside the pocket of a golf bag found in Leaf's vehicle, according to Great Falls Police Sgt. Chris Hickman. There are more details in the story, which is linked above.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Ryan Leaf arrested in Great Falls

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We put together a short story about the reported arrest of former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf on Friday in his hometown of Great Falls, Mont., on charges of theft, burglary and possession of dangerous drugs. A police spokesman said more information about the arrest should be available Saturday. Here's a link to the original report from the Great Falls Tribune.

East Valley High School student arrested

Yesterday the Spokane Valley Police Department arrested an 18-year-old East Valley High School student for allegedly selling drugs in the school parking lot. The student also had a bottle of vodka in his car. He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a felony, and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Click here for more details.

West Valley student arrested for assault

A special education student at West Valley High School was arrested for assault this morning when she attempted to attack another student with a pair of scissors. She and a teacher both received cuts on their hands when the teacher intervened and tried to take away the scissors. Click here for more details.