Pawlenty staffer arrested in Iowa, charged with public intoxication, trespassing

WASHINGTON — An Iowa staffer for Tim Pawlenty’s exploratory campaign was arrested early this morning and charged with public intoxication and trespassing after police say he was found drunk in an Ankeny backyard trying to get into a house that wasn’t his.

Ankeny police confirmed the arrest to MinnPost, and the Pawlenty campaign confirmed the staffer was Ben Foster, who has now been placed on a two-week, unpaid suspension from the campaign.

KCCI TV in Des Moines spoke with the 15-year-old who discovered Foster in her backyard.

Chloe Steward told KCCI she heard her dog barking around 3 a.m. and went to investigate. She said she found a man trying to get into the back door …

“His arm was in my back door, trying to get in and I screamed and went upstairs to my parents’ room and I continued screaming,” said Chloe Steward.

The family then called police.

Foster was released on a $600 bond, according to the Des Moines Register.

“Governor Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Ben’s actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees,” said Eric Woolson, a top Iowa consultant with the Pawlenty campaign. “Therefore, the committee is placing Ben on a two-week unpaid suspension and expects him to bear the legal consequences for his action.”

Pawlenty now has several boots on the ground in Iowa, but Foster, a 24-year-old alumnus of the University of Alabama, was his first paid staffer in the Hawkeye State. In a statement released by the campaign, Foster apologized for the incident.

“Last night, I made a very serious mistake. I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I want to apologize to all affected by my poor judgment. I especially apologize to the people who were disturbed during the incident and the arresting officers. I give my word that it will never happen again.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/06/2011 - 05:29 pm.

    Pawlenty has that effect on me too….

  2. Submitted by will lynott on 04/07/2011 - 08:57 am.

    D’ya s’pose this turkey is acquainted with Brian DeSchane? Just wondering…

    So, yet another wingnut lush gets in trouble with the law, almost loses his job,and is publicly humiliated by his own bonehead actions. And in other news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow…

  3. Submitted by Paul Scott on 04/07/2011 - 04:05 pm.

    Since my first attempt at commenting on this item — a long, drawn out series of H’s followed by A’s — didn’t make it past the moderators, I will just say that I am pleased to learn that in a Pawlenty administration you really only get two chances to bore your way into the wrong house at three in the morning, blasted out of your mind.

    But what’s a Wildly Successful Two Term Governor from Minnesota doing hiring a recent college grad out of Alabama? Is it that hard to find good help for a non-campaign?

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