Sen. Larry Craig to Join Idaho Hall of Fame, Despite Sex Sting Guilty Plea

Published October 07, 2007

| Associated Press

Sen. Larry Craig has been chosen for induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame, despite his well-publicized arrest and guilty plea in an airport sex sting, officials said.

The nonprofit Idaho Hall of Fame Association picked Craig in March, months before he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a Minneapolis airport police officer accused him of soliciting sex in the men's restroom, the organization's board chairman said.

"Larry Craig has made a great contribution to Idaho over the period of 20-some years. At the time it was considered, this other matter had not come up," Harry Magnuson told The Spokesman-Review newspaper Saturday.

But some Republicans said the honor is inappropriate now. Kootenai County Republican precinct committeeman Phil Thompson said Idaho Hall of Fame officials should consider at least postponing the induction.

"Maybe in 10 or 15 years we can think of this hall of fame stuff. Now is not the time," he said. "It's a sad day to be a Republican."

Craig vowed Thursday to serve out the last 15 months of his term, despite a court ruling that left intact his guilty plea in the sex sting operation

Several people are scheduled to be inducted during the Oct. 13 ceremony alongside Craig, including Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, Boise State University football coach Chris Petersen and John Grossenbacher, director of the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear and energy research center.

About 100 people have been inducted into the hall since 1995, including the late Nez Perce Tribe leader Chief Joseph, Coeur d'Alene writer and historian Louise Shadduck, World War II fighter ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and newspaper and hospitality magnate Duane Hagadone.

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