- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

The woman accused of running a D.C.-area escort service apologized yesterday to a former State Department official who resigned after being outed as a client.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who faces charges of running a high-class call-girl ring from her California home, said the episode validates her decision to turn over to ABC News phone records that could reveal thousands of clients.

“My hope that defense witnesses could be found by combing through the information indeed is being realized,” Miss Palfrey said outside a federal courthouse after a brief hearing.

Randall Tobias, who resigned Friday as head of the Bush administration’s foreign aid programs, confirmed to ABC that he used Miss Palfrey’s escort firm, Pamela Martin & Associates, but said he received only legal services such as massages.

Miss Palfrey and her civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said they expect Mr. Tobias to be subpoenaed to testify on her behalf.

Miss Palfrey said she gave her phone records to ABC News so the network could identify clients who then could testify that the escorts performed legal services. However, prosecutors have accused Miss Palfrey of seeking to intimidate witnesses by outing them publicly.

Mr. Sibley said he does not know how many people will be outed by ABC, which is planning to air a report Friday on its “20/20” newsmagazine.

“We don’t know what ABC will do any more than you do,” he said.

During the hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered that a new attorney be appointed for Miss Palfrey, citing irreconcilable differences between her and public defender A.J. Cramer.

Judge Kessler denied a request to appoint a specific lawyer requested by Miss Palfrey. The judge said Miss Palfrey will no longer have to wear an electronic monitoring device that had been a condition of her pretrial release. She will be required to check in with pretrial services by phone three times a week.

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