Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The inevitable Irish aspect to the Washington Madam scandal, which has already claimed the career of the head of the US Agency for International Development Randall Tobias and seems set to do the same to Republican Senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, (Irish Times, subs. req'd) --

Self-confessed escort agency manager Deborah Jeane Palfrey ... The records show that Ms Palfrey had 68 business phone calls on her mobile phone while on a trip to Dublin between November 25th and November 29th, 2004.

One call log shows her calling a Dublin number at 11.03pm on November 27th, 2004, while Ms Palfrey made 29 calls to her home base in Vallejo in California, where prosecutors say she ran an escort business for 13 years and allegedly made $2 million (€1.5 million).

Many other calls are to numbers in the greater Washington area, where US prosecutors say Ms Palfrey ran a prostitution ring for high-paying clients.

Ms Palfrey spent $110.88 on business calls during her trip to Ireland, including 29 incoming phone calls. Apart from calling her California base, Ms Palfrey also called numbers in Alexandria and Leesburg, Virginia, and Silver Spring and Pikesville, Maryland. Many of the phone numbers are believed to be those of suburban Washington hotels, where many of Ms Palfrey's clients were staying.

At a rate of well under $2 a call, she must have had a good roaming plan. Incidentally, that period that she was in Ireland was when Republican hubris was at its peak following the November election -- the wheels had not yet started to come off the wagon. Some bigshots could have gotten careless.

UPDATE 12 July: The Irish Times follows up (subs. req'd) the story with Palfrey telling their correspondent that she was in Ireland as part of considering where to retire.

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