A staffer of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential exploratory committee was arrested in Iowa early Wednesday on suspicion of public intoxication and trespassing.

Credit: Jail photo via Des Moines Register

Credit: Jail photo via Des Moines Register

The staffer, Benjamin Foster, 24, was Pawlenty’s first hire in Iowa. He is being placed on a two-week unpaid suspension by the exploratory committee.

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

Foster was arrested early Wednesday morning in Ankeny, Iowa, after a 15-year-old girl found him drunk and trying to enter the family’s back door, Iowa TV station KCCI reported.

Foster, a 2009 University of Alabama graduate, was hired by Pawlenty’s Freedom First political action committee in September 2010.

In a statement released by the committee, Foster said: “Last night, I made a very serious mistake. 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.”

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