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State Department official resigns over 'D.C. madam'

Story Highlights

• Head of USAID tells network he was a client of escort service
• Randall Tobias, 65, says he got massages but no sex
• Escort service's director under federal indictment
• Deborah Jeane Palfrey's client list causing uproar in Washington
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A top State Department official resigned Friday after revealing to ABC News that he had been a client of the alleged "D.C. madam's" escort service.

A State Department official, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to CNN the reason for Randall Tobias' departure as director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The State Department said that Tobias, 65, resigned for "personal reasons."

ABC reported on its Web site that Tobias, 65, said Thursday that he had used Deborah Jeane Palfrey's escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." He told the network that there was no sex involved.

ABC said Tobias' private cell phone number was one of thousands listed on documents that Palfrey handed over to the network, which plans to air a report on the documents on the "20/20" television news program next week.

On her Web site, Palfrey says she unconditionally gave "copies of certain years of the records ... to ABC News."

Two weeks ago, Palfrey revealed the name of another purported client in a court document.

In a motion filed with the court regarding her counsel, Palfrey named Harlan K. Ullman as "one of the regular customers" of her business. Ullman denied the allegation. (Full story)

Ullman is one of the leading theorists behind the "shock and awe" military strategy that was associated with the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Palfrey is fighting a federal racketeering and money-laundering indictment. Her attorneys have been battling in court over documents that contain personal information about her clients.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler has restricted access to the documents, but Palfrey's attorneys say the order applies to the originals of the documents, not to copies.

Government prosecutors say Palfrey's company, Pamela Martin and Associates, was actually a prostitution ring that Palfrey operated in the Washington area for 13 years. Palfrey denies that her business provided sexual services to its customers.

Tobias previously served as vice chairman of AT&T and CEO of AT&T International before taking over in 1993 as chairman and CEO at pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. He retired at the end of 1998 and in 2003 was named by President Bush as the first U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, with the rank of ambassador.

Bush selected him in January 2006 as the director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the main agency overseeing economic and humanitarian assistance globally. He holds the rank of deputy secretary of state.

Tobias attended two functions at the White House this week, both times earning praise in the president's public remarks. On Monday, the Indiana native attended a reception for the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, and on Wednesday he attended a ceremony marking Malaria Awareness Day.

Tobias informed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday that he was resigning effective immediately, department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a written statement.

"The lives saved and made better around the globe by Randy's work at the State Department constitute a rich legacy on which he can look back with justifiable pride," McCormack said.

CNN's John King and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.


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Randall Tobias, director of foreign aid programs at the State Department, resigned Friday.

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