Posted at 2:17 PM on April 6, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
A 15-year-old girl reportedly found a staffer for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Iowa campaign operation trying to enter the back door of her family's Ankeny, Iowa home early Wednesday morning.
The girl's family told KCCI-TV in Des Moines that the staffer, Benjamin Foster, was drunk and trying to get to a friend's house in Johnston, Iowa. They said he vomited in their backyard and scared their daughter. The TV station reported that police charged Foster with public intoxication and trespassing.
Pawlenty's presidential exploratory campaign committee released a statement Wednesday afternoon, quoting Foster.
"Last night, I made a very serious mistake," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions. 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."
The statement also quoted a spokesman for the exploratory committee, Eric Woolson.
"Gov. Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Ben's actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees," Woolson said. "Therefore, the committee is placing Ben on a two-week unpaid suspension and expects him to bear the legal consequences for his action."
Ankeny Police Lt. Ed Hamilton confirmed the arrest but said the police report would not be available until some time Thursday. Lt. Hamilton explained what happened in the alleged incident in an interview. Here it is: