Ex-Senator Craig Abandons Effort to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Thursday, January 8, 2009

After repeated attempts to clear his name, former senator Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) is giving up on his effort to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from his 2007 arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom in an undercover sex sting.

A month ago, a Minnesota appeals court rejected Craig's motion to overturn a lower court's ruling denying his petition to withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct charges. Since the case went public in August 2007, Craig has argued that he was pressured into the plea by police and that his conduct was not illegal.

While Craig could still appeal to the state Supreme Court, his Minneapolis attorney, Thomas M. Kelly, said his client would not do so.

"This is not a case the Supreme Court of Minnesota would accept for review," Kelly said. "It's not that novel of an issue."

The decision, which was first reported by the Associated Press, brings to an end a saga that began a year and a half ago with a burst of scandal-fueled publicity and that led to Craig's retirement from the Senate under pressure from his colleagues.

Now a private citizen, Craig is reportedly forming a consulting company. He has also talked of writing a book about his career, his downfall and "the state of politics in Washington today."

-- Ben Pershing

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