Pawlenty Aide Resigns After Arrest

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A staffer for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential exploratory committee has resigned after being charged with trespassing and public intoxication after trying to enter a suburban Des Moines home earlier this month, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Benjamin Limbaugh Foster submitted his resignation Saturday and it was accepted, Pawlenty consultant Eric Woolson told The Associated Press.

The committee had suspended the 24-year-old for two weeks without pay following his arrest early April 6. Woolson said Foster spent more time thinking about his actions and offered to resign after “recognizing the seriousness of the mistake.” Foster already had issued a statement apologizing to the family involved and the arresting officers for poor judgment.

Authorities say a family in Ankeny called 911 to report a prowler in their backyard at 3:11 a.m. A teenage girl who lives in the home said she woke up because her dog was barking, and then saw Foster on their back deck, according to a police report. Foster reached his arm inside a partially opened backdoor and smiled at the girl, who ran upstairs to tell her parents, the report said. Foster failed to get inside because of a door stopper, and the girl’s father grabbed his gun from a safe and held Foster at gunpoint until police arrived.

Foster, who threw up on the family’s back deck, told police he had been drinking at a Des Moines bar and ended up at the residence after getting lost on the way to the home where he was staying with a state lawmaker about 10 miles away. The report says at first he said he had driven to the area. But then he said he had taken a cab and the driver must have gotten confused. His personal vehicle was found illegally parked at the end of the family’s street and was towed.

Online court records show Foster pleaded not guilty to the charges last week. Woolson said he did not know Foster’s whereabouts, and he could not immediately be reached by AP for comment. His attorney, James A. Sinclair of West Des Moines, did not immediately return a phone message.

Foster had been living with state Rep. Erik Helland, who posted a $600 cash bond for Foster following the arrest, records show.

Foster, an Alabama native who graduated from the University of Alabama in 2009, was hired by Pawlenty last year and was his first full-time staff member in Iowa. The most recent disclosure report for Pawlenty’s political action committee, Freedom First, shows Foster was paid more than $6,000 in December for “political strategy consulting” and travel. Pawlenty’s related Iowa committee reported paying Foster more than $8,200 for work and travel in October and November.

The aide’s legal troubles come just as Pawlenty tries to introduce himself to Republicans in Iowa, where he says he must do well in the first-in-the-nation caucuses next year to be a viable presidential candidate.

Woolson downplayed Foster’s significance, calling him “a young man who made a mistake.”

“I don’t think it’s anything more than that,” he said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. lib says:

    since he is working for a conservative possible presidental candidate, he is a perverted criminal, if he were working for a liberal candidate he would be an alcoholic, and have a disease and not be responsible for his actions. Either way it is good he has resigned, conservatives should not have people who are not able to drink responsibly in their employee, even if the conservative is a RHINO.

    1. NOT TOO LATE says:

      ALCOHOL INVITES TROUBLE FOR EVERYONE. I FEEL BAD THAT THIS YOUNG MAN LEARNED IT THE HARD WAY.

      I MUST ASK… WHY WOULD A 24 YEAR OLD BE A CONSULTANT FOR A EXPLORATORY PRESIDENTIAL ENDEAVOR. THAT’S AN AGE WHEN YOUNG ADULTS ARE JUST FINDING THEIR OWN WAY IN LIFE, NOT DIRECTING THE MATURE TO THE HIGHEST OF OFFICE.

      THE LAPSE OF JUDGEMENT BELONGS TO PAWLENTY, AGAIN.

    2. Lynn says:

      He’s a criminal no matter what his politics. Unless you know him personally, lib, then you don’t know if he is a “RHINO”. He could just as well be one of those wacko far righties that like to toss down a few. They do exist, look in the newspaper. They’re usually getting pulled over for DUI’s with a BAC of .24 and greater, country music blaring, pickup reeking of cigarettes and jack, and a bumper sticker talking about the attributes of Jesus (whose name they’ll be hollering with their head over the porclain god in the morning).

      T-Paw is still a candidate no one will take seriously. Heck, most of us Minnesotans couldn’t even remember his name on a good day. The rest of America will look towards the remaining more dismal offerings and just scratch their bellies and change the channel.

      1. lib says:

        I am not a fan of Mr. Pawlenty, however, if you are talking about being taken seriously, that doesn’t seem to be a factor in politics…look at Mark Dayton. Jesse Ventura, and Al Franken, I don’t think Minnesotans take politics very seriously at all or we wouldn’t elect clowns. It says people get the leader they deserve. Scary for Minnesota.

  2. tom says:

    Oh no , a criminal working for a candidate, say it isn’t so!!!!!! With all the CROOKS in Congress that fleece the American people, this guy would have fit right in. Or he could go to work for the speculators on wall street. They are the biggest Crooks along with the lobbyist in washington. He some speculative comments, The USA is debt free. Just print some more money, spill abit more oil and hey we be doing just fine. Now if some news group would post that maybe gas prices would come down. lol

  3. jonah says:

    Wait till its released what Timmy Did in the parking lot of Stark’s a fews yrs ago….bye bye Timmy…and I mean…bye bye…lol

  4. Larry Sr says:

    Come on – this worked out ok for the guy. Bachmann’s got him running around spying on the Dems and the other Teee Peee’ers so he’s secure. When she does her book deal he’ll get a bonus so …… all good

    1. sad says:

      Larry what does Bachmann have to do with this, he was working for Pawlenty.

  5. E. Loring says:

    Well, at least we get a view of how Pawlenty goes about organizing a staff. I can only Imagine what his cabinet would look like.

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