BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former Boise mayor who resigned amid a travel and spending scandal and later served time for misusing public money says he's running for the office again.
Brent Coles announced his campaign for mayor Friday, first apologizing for the events that led to his political downfall 16 years ago and then criticizing the current administration's spending on efforts to renovate Boise's main library.
Coles served three terms as mayor starting in 1993 and was president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors for a time.
But by the end of his final term he was embroiled in scandal, facing accusations of illegally accepting a trip to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City from a Boise contractor and using taxpayer money to play for pleasure trips to New York City, the Oregon coast and elsewhere.
Coles resigned in 2003 within minutes of the Idaho attorney general announcing that criminal charges had been filed against him.
Coles later pleaded guilty to two felonies for misusing public funds and served several weeks in jail followed by three years of probation.
In 2007, a judge expunged Coles' felony record and restored his civil rights. At the time, Coles said he was enjoying quiet family life, far from the public eye.
On Friday, he asked voters to consider his decades of political experience gained before the scandal rocked City Hall.
"That was a terrible moment in time, I made some very bad decisions, but prior to that, for 20 years I had been making very good decisions," he said.
The race for mayor has a crowded field. Incumbent Dave Bieter, City Council President Lauren McClean, Adriel Martinez, Cortney Nielsen, Wayne Richey and Rebecca Arnold are also running.