Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Former Sen. Craig appealing federal court decision on misuse of campaign funds for bathroom sex sting defense

Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, the newly named finance chairman for the Idaho Republican Party, has filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C. of a September judge's order that he pay $242,535 to the U.S. Treasury to make up for improper use of campaign funds to cover legal expenses incurred after his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Sept. 30 ordered Craig to pay the “amount he was unjustly enriched” by tapping the campaign funds, $197,535, plus a court-imposed $45,000 penalty, “which the Court finds necessary and appropriate to punish defendants’ misconduct and to deter future misconduct by others.”

Craig’s one-page notice of appeal, filed today, simply says he wants to appeal the judge’s decision. He pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct after the arrest, then tried unsuccessfully to rescind the plea; Craig claimed he was on official Senate travel between Idaho and Washington, D.C. at the time of the arrest, so the incident occurred in the course of his official duties and he was justified in tapping campaign funds. Both the Federal Election Commission and the federal judge disagreed. In 2008, the Senate Ethics Committee formally admonished Craig, both for his conduct during and after the incident, and for his use of campaign funds on his legal defense. You can read my full story here at

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: