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.
“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.”