Criminal charges against former Hayden Republican Sen. Mike Jorgenson, accused of roughing up an employee in a Feb. 5 dispute over money, were tossed out of court last week, according to this morning's Coeur d'Alene Press.
But the three-term Idaho legislator said bad publicity stemming from his arrest was partially to blame for closing his Hayden restaurant—The Copa—after nearly three years of operation. The former lawmaker was arrested at the restaurant after an employee said he was manhandled by Jorgenson.
"The incident and the glaring spotlight placed on me in the press as a former elected leader was very difficult for my family, my friends, and for my business to contend with," Jorgenson told the Press. "It was a lesson I learned at some cost."
Jorgenson also blamed the restaurant closure on several abuses, including theft from some employees and illegal drug use by some employees while they were on the job.