After spending four (or more) years, and tens of thousands of dollars to secure a degree from the University of Idaho, this year's graduates at the U of I's satellite campus in Idaho Falls will be rewarded by listening to former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig as their commencement speaker.
Craig, a 1969 University of Idaho graduate, is scheduled to speak Thursday, May 2 at the U of I's University Place campus, where 73 degrees will be distributed, including nine doctoral degrees.
But to much of the nation, Craig is still known as the U.S. Senator who was busted in a June 2007 arrest for lewd conduct in a Minnesota airport restroom. He ultimately entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. Just last month, a federal judge told Craig that he was out of line to use campaign funds to pay for his legal defense in the matter. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Craig's arrest had nothing to do with his official duties as a U.S. Senator. Craig was trying to fight a lawsuit from the Federal Election Commission, which charged Craig had improperly used $200,000 from his campaign war chest to fight the disorderly conduct charge, which he ultimately admitted to.
Of late, Craig is a high-priced lobbyist through his consulting firm New West Strategies.