Sen. David Vitter Placed on Witness List in Prostitution Trial; Driver Backs into "No Parking" Sign - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sen. David Vitter Placed on Witness List in Prostitution Trial; Driver Backs into "No Parking" Sign

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Senator David Vitter Senator David Vitter
Deborah Palfrey, AKA "D.C. Madam" Deborah Palfrey, AKA "D.C. Madam"
Vitter's Driver Backs into "No Parking" Sign at Gonzales City Hall      Photo by:  Derron Daquano/WAFB-TV Vitter's Driver Backs into "No Parking" Sign at Gonzales City Hall Photo by: Derron Daquano/WAFB-TV

GONZALES, La. (WAFB) - A driver for U.S. Senator David Vitter backed into a "No Parking" sign as he tried to scurry the senator away from reporters in Gonzales, Louisiana Monday morning. Reporters wanted to question Vitter further about the possibility that he will be called as a witness in the trial of the "D.C. Madam."

The "D.C. Madam" trial got underway in nation's capitol today. Defense attorneys have listed U.S. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana as a potential witness in the trial. Deborah Palfrey, who is known as the "D.C. Madam," is accused of running a high-end prostitution ring in Washington, D.C., of which Senator Vitter was reportedly a client. Jury selection in the trial began Monday morning.

Senator Vitter was in Gonzales Monday morning for town hall meeting that's been scheduled for months to discuss issues like health care, the economy, and crime. The meeting started at 10:00 at City Hall, with standing room only. After Monday's town hall meeting, Vitter made a brief statement to reporters. "I do want to reiterate how sorry I am for causing real pain to the folks I love so dearly, starting with my family and certainly including the people of Louisiana," Vitter said.  He did not answer follow-up questions.

Vitter then quickly left. As his driver was leaving Gonzales City Hall, he accidentally backed into a "no parking" sign in the parking lot of City Hall. The sign was placed inside an orange traffic cone. There was visible damage to the left rear of the vehicle. Vitter was in the passenger seat. His driver pulled forward, and then left the scene. A WAFB 9NEWS photographer captured the accident on videotape. Vitter spokesman Joel Digrado did not respond to a request for comment.

Gonzales Police Chief Bill Landry says, following the incident, his department received a phone from Vitter's office offering to pay for any damages. Landry says the sign was slightly bent and was straightened out again. The sign did not need to be replaced, he said. Landry said the incident will not be pursued further. "We've had several of our police units hit the same sign," Chief Landry said.

It is possible Senator Vitter could plead the fifth, if he's called to the stand. That's the act of refusing to testify on the ground that his answers could be used as evidence against him in a criminal case.

Reporter:  Tyana Williams, WAFB 9NEWS

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