Ethics panel dismisses Vitter prostitution complaint

May 08, 2008
 Bad behavior


On the same day that Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) admitted to fathering a child with a woman who is not his wife, the Senate ethics committee has dismissed without prejudice a prostitution-related complaint against  Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).

The ethics committee “dismissed without prejudice” the complaint, which was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, on the grounds that Vitter’s alleged involvement with “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey occurred before he ran for the Senate; that he was never criminally charged; and that “the conduct at issue did not involve use of public office or status for improper purposes.”

But the committee stressed in its letter that its dismissal of the complaint should not be seen as “personal approbation or acceptance” of the conduct alleged. “In fact, if proven true, the members of the committee would find the alleged conduct of solicitation for prostitution to be reprehensible,” the committee wrote.

Palfrey, who was convicted earlier this year on felonies including racketeering and money laundering, died of an apparent suicide last week.

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