U.S. Senate Environment Committee Member Fined for Lewd Behavior

WASHINGTON, DC, August 27, 2007 (ENS) - Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has pleaded guilty and been fined for "lewd" behavior in a public men's room.

The newspaper of Capitol Hill since 1955, "Roll Call" reports today that Craig was arrested June 11 at a Minnesota airport for "lewd conduct" in a men's public restroom. On August 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Craig "paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation."

As quoted in "Roll Call," the report by arresting officer Sgt. Dave Karsnia says, "Craig was detained for approximately 45 minutes, interviewed, photographed, fingerprinted and released, and police prepared a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct."

"Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men's restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity," the officer's report states.

"My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall. From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me," Karsnia wrote.

"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area," wrote Karsnia.

Craig then "proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times," Karsnia noted in his report, writing, "I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider."

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it and proceeded to make the arrest.

Craig's environmental record has been dismal, according to the League of Conservation Voters. Out of possible conservation voting score of 100 percent, Craig has never scored higher than fiver percent.

In 2006, Craig helped to pass a bill that would allow off-shore drilling for oil and gas; and voted for including leasing fees from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the 2007 budget, a measure which did not pass.

Craig tipped the balance in a vote of 49-48 to reject more than $19 billion in environmental funding through 2010. Among the hardest hit programs are the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as programs for conserving public lands and wildlife, oceans, coasts, water and farmland.

Craig supports early storage of defense nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada before all approvals are in place and a repeal of the 70,000 metric ton statutory limit on emplacement of radioactive materials at Yucca Mountain. "We are eager to see the nuclear materials that helped us win the Cold War move from temporary storage to the permanent repository at Yucca Mountain," Craig said in 2006, when Republicans ruled Congress.

The current Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, has vowed that Yucca Mountain will never be approved.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.