US Deputy Secretary of State Randall L Tobias has resigned after confirming to ABC television network that he had been a customer of a Washington, DC, escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution racket.
Tobias, 65, director of US Foreign Assistance and administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), had previously served as the ambassador for the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief..
As the Bush administration's so-called and "AIDS czar," Tobias was criticised for emphasising faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.
A State Department press release on late Friday afternoon said only he was leaving for "personal reasons".
On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News that he had several times called the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage".
Tobias, who is married, said there had been "no sex", and that recently he had been using another service "with Central Americans" to provide massages
Tobias' private cell number was among thousands of numbers listed in the telephone records provided to ABC News by Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the "DC Madam", who is facing the federal charges.
In an interview to be broadcast by the network next Friday, Palfrey says she intends to call Tobias and a number of her other prominent DC clients to testify at her trial.