Police: Rep. Gohmert 'rude' over ticket

March 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told Park Police he would not pay a $25 ticket for parking near the Lincoln Memorial because "oversight of Park Service is my job."

Gohmert got the ticket just after 11 p.m. EST March 13, when he parked his sport utility vehicle in a space reserved for National Park Service vehicles, Politico reported Wednesday. Gohmert had taken his stepsister and her husband to see the memorial after dinner, the Washington publication said.

Citing a Park Police official report, Politico said Gohmert -- a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources -- put the ticket on a nearby police vehicle, along with his business card and a note that read: "Oversight of Park Service is my job! Natural Resources Thus the Congressional Plate in window."

Members of Congress are issued placards allowing them to park their vehicles "in any available curb space in the District of Columbia" when on official business, Politico said.

The Park Police report said a Park Police vehicle arrived and Gohmert told an officer: "I was issued a ticket and I am a congressman and parked my vehicle in the NPS parking only because I have a Congress placard, see. I am going to a meeting on the Hill and I am the one who oversees the National Park Services Natural Resources."

An officer who wrote the official police report described Gohmert as "rude and irate," and another said he was "ranting."

Gohmert spokeswoman Kimberly Willingham told Politico in an email Gohmert was allowed to park where he did and a Park Police officer told him during the incident he saw the congressional placard but did not know what it meant.

"The officer accepted the ticket back and apologized," Willingham said.

The police report indicated Gohmert told the officer he "did not have time to deal with the issue," and said "I am not paying for a ticket" before driving off.

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