Representative Louie Gohmert says he was not trying to be a "big shot" when he told a park service officer that he didn't believe that he should pay for a Washington D.C. parking ticket.
Late on the night of March 13, Gohmert parked near the Lincoln Memorial, in a spot reserved for National Park Service officers. He says that he was parked there for about fifteen minutes, and had a ticket on his car when he returned.
On Thursday, a group called "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington" filed a complaint against Gohmert asking for an investigation into the incident.
"Representative Gohmert's sense of entitlement to special treatment is astonishing," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "By abusing his position as a member of Congress to yell at police officers and try and get out of a parking ticket, Rep. Gohmert engaged in conduct that reflects discreditably upon the House."
In a phone interview on Thursday, Gohmert told KLTV that he was writing a note to the officer to leave with the ticket on a parks service vehicle when the officer returned. Gohmert refuted the claims that he was "rude and irate" when speaking with the officer. He says he was "matter of fact."
The parking violation for disobeying an official sign comes with a $25 fine. Gohmert told said that when he was a freshman in Congress, a senior park service officer told him that he could park in national park spaces, as long as his congressional plate was displayed on the dashboard of his vehicle.
"I gave him my card, and said if it turns out what I've been hearing for eight years is not true, then I will pay the $25," Gohmert said.
Gohmert said the officer told him that he didn't see that plate.
"He said, 'I didn't see it,'" Gohmert said. "And I said, 'Well it was right under the windshield wiper where you left the ticket.'"
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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